Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'His Emotions Got the Better of Him Which Was Foolish ...Perhaps the Players Should Be Calmer in Their Celebrations' Defence of Pitch Invader Given to Court

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'His Emotions Got the Better of Him Which Was Foolish ...Perhaps the Players Should Be Calmer in Their Celebrations' Defence of Pitch Invader Given to Court

Article excerpt

Byline: Keiran Southern Reporter keiran.southern@trinitymirror.com

ALEKSANDAR Mitrovic's wild celebrations during last month's Tyne-Wear derby could have encouraged a pitch invader, a court heard.

John West, of Gilesgate, Durham, pleaded guilty to going onto the playing area at a football match during last month's Newcastle United v Sunderland match.

West was one of a number of fans who appeared before Newcastle magistrates today charged with offences ranging from throwing missiles into the crowd to being drunk and disorderly.

West, 35, ran onto the pitch to celebrate with Mitrovic after the Serbian striker scored Newcastle United's equaliser in the 1-1 draw.

However he slipped and fell meaning Mitrovic had to jump over him - an action the club say could have caused a serious injury.

But Newcastle Magistrates Court heard the player's celebrations could have encouraged fans to join in.

Defending, Elizabeth Dunbar, said: "There was no suggestion he was aggressive or violent. His emotions got the better of him, which was extremely foolish.

"He has brought shame to himself more than anyone else. Perhaps the players should be calmer in their celebrations."

A victim impact statement from Steve Storey, head of safety and security at Newcastle United, was read out to the court.

It said: "John West ran from the East Stand onto the pitch and appeared to slip and fall, causing Mitrovic to hurdle over him to avoid a collision and potential injury. Stewards took a hold of him and took him off the pitch and he was handed over to the police and arrested.

"As a direct result of West's actions the club face the prospect of an FA investigation and possible disciplinary action. There are also other implications for the club and supporters."

Mr Storey told the court the game was broadcast live around the world and West's actions had brought "shame and embarrassment" on the club.

He added: "We are relieved he did not cause serious injury to Mitrovic.

Newcastle support the police in the application of a football banning order."

Chair of the bench Margaret Higgins fined West PS353 costs and he will appear before a judge on May 11 to discover whether he will be given a football banning order.

The following were charged with using threatening/abusive words/behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

| Alexander Agnew, 27, of Hawkeshead Place, Newton Aycliffe pleaded guilty and was fined PS100. Hearing for a football banning order will be held on May 11. Unconditional bail.

| Andrew Cowell, 34, Hardwick Street, Peterlee. Pleaded not guilty, awaiting trial at Newcastle Magistrates' Court on July 7, 2016.

| Marc Ferguson, 20, Spa Well Drive, Sunderland. Pleaded guilty, conditional discharge, a PS100 fine. …

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