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Sunderland yobs face jail over organised fight with West Ham

Ten Sunderland football hooligans have been warned they face jail after a pre-arranged fight with yobs from West Ham United.

Nine men and a 17-year-old youth could end up behind bars after admitting their parts in a violent confrontation before the clash at the Stadium of Light on January 12.

Trouble broke out at Low Row in Sunderland city centre, and several arrests were made.

Today, as they appeared at Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Freedman said that with Sunderland’s local derby with Newcastle this weekend in mind, he extended the bail condition which means they must not go within a two-mile radius of any football ground holding a Premiership or international match.

An interim football banning order is in place in all cases, which also prevents them attendng Sunday’s game or any other football match.

Judge Freedman told them: “Each of you have pleaded guilty to an offence of violent disorder, which is a very serious offence, and you must recognise you have placed your liberty at risk.

“It is very likely, in each case, there will be a term of immediate imprisonment.

“I will adjourn for pre-sentence reports to be prepared, but you must not read anything into that.

“What you did on that day warrants a term of custody.”

The defendants will learn their fate in December, when a two-day sentencing hearing takes place.

More cases linked to the trouble that day are currently going through the courts.

A group of defendants from the West Ham faction are due in court next month.

As well as being kept away from football matches, the defendants must live at addresses they have supplied to the court and co-operate with the probation service for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

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