Two fans given football banning order after throwing flares in St James' Park
Monday 20th March 2017
Two football fans have been banned from matches after throwing flares at St James’ Park.
A court was told away supporter, Connor Conway, brought the “smoke bomb” into the ground during the Toon’s game against Aston Villa on February 20.
The 19-year-old was then seen on CCTV to pass the flare to pal, James Carter, who went on to throw it.
But, the mindless pair were spotted by fellow fans and security staff and they were quickly arrested after police were called to the scene.
Now, Conway, of Coleshill Heath Road, Birmingham, and Carter, 18, of Blackcat Close, Birmingham, have been given three-year football banning orders and fined £220 each.
During a hearing at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, Carter pleaded guilty to throwing a firework at a spectators area and Conway admitted possessing a firework at a designated sporting event.
Holly Common, prosecuting, said the Aston Villa fans had travelled to Newcastle to watch their side’s match against the Magpies on the evening of February 20.
She said: “Police attended the Milburn Stand following a report a male had been seen to discharge a flare.
“On arrival, the officer was informed there were two people involved and he entered the stands and the defendant Carter was identified for igniting the flare.
“He was arrested, to which he replied “Yes, fair enough”.”
The court was told CCTV was then viewed and Conway was identified as the person who had taken the flare into the ground and given it to Carter.
Ms Common added: “He [Conway] was taken to the bar area to be spoken to. He was told he was seen to pass the flare to another male and he was arrested.
“He replied “Yes, I was stupid”.”
Mark Humble, defending Carter, who has no previous convictions, said he had been drinking on the coach on the way to the match.
He said: “It was a smoke flare. His reaction when he was arrested was exactly right - he was stupid. He threw it and when he threw it, he threw it on the ground, not at anybody.
“Nobody was harmed in any way or put in any danger.”
The court heard Conway, who also has no previous convictions, had also been stupid but also suffered from autism, dyslexia and possible asperger’s syndrome.
Conway also sent a letter of apology to Newcastle United before the court hearing.
The pair were fined £220 each and were ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
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