A judge has warned that courts will not tolerate football hooliganism after 17 Chesterfield FC supporters have been fined and banned from games.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Monday, December 16, how the fans admitted disorderly behaviour during a fracas at Chesterfield FC’s 0-1 home match defeat against Mansfield on September 28 in League Two.
Police CCTV footage from inside the ground showed a section of the Spireite fans in the north-west corner of the Proact Stadium gesturing, goading and surging towards Mansfield fans and later footage outside the ground showed police struggling to keep both sets of supporters apart as they tried to clear the area.
District Judge Andrew Davison was appalled to learn a terrified woman motorist and her young child had become surrounded and trapped by a baying mob that had flooded on to Sheffield Road outside people’s homes and shops.
Mr Davison said: “Courts in Chesterfield will not tolerate this kind of behaviour. That lady was surrounded in her car and it must have been exceptionally frightening for her and her daughter.
“Ordinary people would have been fearful of this behaviour on a main road outside a football ground.”
The CCTV footage played in court showed Chesterfield FC fans gesturing towards Mansfield fans and goading them while banging on advertising boards as they shouted and surged forward before being held back by police.
Mansfield fans were also disruptive but not to the same degree as Chesterfield FC supporters, according to police.
Mr Shaw explained motorists could not get along Sheffield Road because it was blocked with chanting supporters.
Some of the offenders were identified and traced from police images released to the Derbyshire Times and some handed themselves in after seeing their pictures in the press.
Mr Davison added: “It was exceptionally, unsatisfactory behaviour from both sets of fans.”
He added: “This type of very frightening and very violent disorder is not a frequent happening in Chesterfield. It was totally unacceptable.”
The 17 Chesterfield FC offenders who pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour in a public place were fined hundreds of pounds.
They were each given football banning orders of three years apart from one offender who received a five year ban.