A Brighton and Hove Albion football supporter who assaulted a fellow fan in front of his son has been banned from attending matches.
James Raynor attended the fixture between Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace at the Amex Community Stadium on January 14.
At the end of the game, he wanted to get past a fellow supporter in the North Stand, but there was no room to pass.
The 41-year-old victim tried to explain the situation, but was pushed against his seat, trapping his son behind him who was also attending the game. When he tried to make space, Raynor assaulted him further.
Raynor, 47, a security employee, of Cissbury Way, Shoreham, was identified to police and he was arrested by officers on suspicion of assault.
At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on June 23, he admitted assault by beating and causing criminal damage.
The court imposed a conditional discharge and ordered Raynor to pay £194 compensation to the victim, as well as £85 costs and a £22 victim surcharge.
Raynor was also given a three-year football banning order which prevents him attending football matches in the UK, and also restricts his ability to travel abroad while the England men’s team are playing.
Sussex Police’s Football Officer PC Sam Smith said: “This was a frightening incident for the victim who was left in fear of his own safety and for the safety of his son.
“Rather than waiting patiently to exit the stadium, Raynor tried to charge past when there was no space to do so.
“It caused the victim’s son so be trapped against the seat. When the victim tried to make some space, Raynor punched him.
“By his own admission, Raynor had attended the game with his own sons and a friend, and had consumed four pints of alcohol before the game.
“This assault was completely unnecessary and witnessed by children. Thanks to the work of club staff and police officers we were able to quickly arrest Raynor.
“This case demonstrates our determination to catch offenders, and should be a warning that we will not tolerate violence by supporters attending the stadium that ruins the experience for others.
“We want to ensure that the Amex Stadium is a safe place for everyone to attend and enjoy the game.”
A club spokesperson for Brighton & Hove Albion said: “We welcome the verdict and thank Sussex Police and the court for their support in prosecuting the offender.
“We have always made very clear that we have a zero tolerance policy towards anti-social behaviour of this type, and this is yet another reminder that alongside Sussex Police we will take very strong action against anyone responsible for such behaviour.
“So in addition to the punishment handed down by the court, he will also face a significant ban from all home and away Brighton and Hove Albion fixtures.”
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