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Football hooligans banned for 102 years after violence in Cardiff

Hooligans involved in trouble which erupted before and after a Bristol City game last season have been banned from attending football matches for a total of 102 years.

Thirty-two men have been convicted of public order offences following disturbances involving Robins supporters outside the Cardiff City Stadium and in the centre of the Welsh capital.

So far, 29 of the 32 have been punished over the disorder which broke out on the day of a league fixture between the two Championship clubs in February. Among those with the longest bans are five City fans who have recently been sentenced for their roles in the disorder.

Michael Harding, 30, was given an eight-year banning order and a three-month suspended custodial sentence, a 12-month supervision order and 80 hours unpaid work.

Jamel Labruna, 26, and Duran Thaws, 30, were each given six-year banning orders and a 56-day suspended custodial sentence, and 140 hours unpaid work.

Dean Ford, 27, was given a six-year banning order and a four-month prison sentence.

Luke Selman, 23, was given a five- year order, 12-week suspended sentence and 80 hours unpaid work.

South Wales Police set up an investigation called Operation Panther to identify and arrest those involved. Some 60 hours of CCTV camera footage were examined and 36 people were identified.

Of those, 29 have pleaded guilty and been sentenced, three have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentence, two are awaiting trial, and two men have yet to be found and arrested.

Some of the suspects were identified after CCTV images were published on the front page of the Bristol Post in May.

The majority of the banning ordered imposed on those sentenced were for three years.

The force’s football liaison officer PC Christian Evans said: “This incident did not involve any home fans and the vast majority of away supporters behaved impeccably.

“But unfortunately a small minority – less than three per cent of the travelling contingent – were intent on causing trouble.

“Many of the genuine Bristol City fans were unaware of the disorder as they were in the stadium watching the game. These are not scenes we are used to seeing in Cardiff and we are committed to keeping football a safe environment.

“The involvement of these 32 men and the weight of evidence have been reflected in their guilty pleas.

“Operation Panther show a clear intention by South Wales Police to continue to pursue banning orders against those who blatantly and actively look to engage in incidents of disorder at football matches.”

Tom Williams, football liaison officer for Bristol City Football Club, said: “The Avon and Somerset Police Football unit have been working with colleagues from South Wales Police for the duration of Operation Panther. The sentences handed out as a result of the post-match enquiry into the disorder send a strong message to those individuals intent on committing football related disorder.

“We would like to thank South Wales Police, and particularly PC Christian Evans for leading the enquiry.”

Bron: thisisbristol

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