Devon

Rival football fans banned from matches after huge brawl

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Media captionFootball brawl: The scene inside the pub

Rival fans have been banned from matches for up to five years after a brawl in a pub.

Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City fans clashed at the King Billy in Exeter on Good Friday in 2017.

The rival clubs, both in League Two at the time, had played separate matches earlier in the day.

Exeter City said the club had a "zero-tolerance" policy on violence. Plymouth Argyle has not yet commented.

Argyle drew 1-1 against Portsmouth earlier that day while Exeter were celebrating a 2-1 win against Barnet.

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption The fight between Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City football fans took place on Good Friday 2017

The Plymouth fans were on their way home from the away game when they arrived at Exeter Central station just before 21:00 BST.

CCTV shows them walking towards the pub in Exeter city centre before the fight.

Julian Tagg, Exeter City chairman, described the brawl as an "isolated incident".

"Since the club was taken over by the Supporters' Trust more than 15 years ago we have been extremely proud of our safety record and reputation that Exeter City Football Club has for being a friendly and safe place to come."


The following men pleaded guilty to affray before the start of the trial and were sentenced at Exeter Crown Court on Friday.

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption (Clockwise, from top-left) Jamie Baker, Matthew Rowland, Wayne Rowland, Matthew High, Oliver Southern, Alan Phillips, Nick Spinoulas and Steve Dyke all pled guilty to affray before the trial
  • Jamie Baker, 32, of Saltash, was given 48 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, 180 hours of unpaid work and a five-year football banning order
  • Matthew Rowland, 21, of Exeter, was given 32 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, 160 hours of unpaid work and a four-year football banning order
  • Wayne Rowland, 50, of Exeter, was given 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work and a four-year football banning order
  • Matthew High, 19, of Crediton, was given 47 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, 180 hours of unpaid work and a five-year football banning order
  • Steve Dyke, 42, of Plymouth, failed to appear at Exeter Crown court for sentencing and police have issued a warrant for his arrest
  • Nick Spinoulas, 22, of Exeter, was given 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work and a four-year football banning order
  • Alan Phillips, 49, of Exeter, was given 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, plus a curfew for 20 weeks between 21:00 and 06:00
  • Oliver Southern, 22, of Exeter, was given 42 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, 160 hours of unpaid work and a five-year football banning order

Five fans chose to take their case to trial. They were found guilty of affray and received the following sentences.

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption (Clockwise, from left) Mark Langdon, Wayne Brownlow, George Photiou, Stefan Szypillo and Chris Ashton all took their case to trial
  • Mark Langdon, 27, of Exeter, was given 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work, 20 days rehabilitation and a five-year football banning order
  • Wayne Brownlow, 46, of Plymouth, was given nine months in jail, suspended for two years, a drug rehabilitation order, 20 days rehabilitation with probation and a four-year football banning order
  • George Photiou, 24, of Plymouth, was given six months in jail, suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work and a prohibition activity requirement to stop him attending Plymouth Argyle games for two years
  • Chris Ashton, 41, of Plymouth, was given 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, Ashton, 250 hours of unpaid work and a four-year football banning order
  • Stefan Szypillo 54, of Exeter, was given six months in jail, suspended for two years, and a five-month night-time curfew

Stuart Wheeler, 40, of Exeter, was acquitted during his trial and Sheridan Davey, 46, of Weston-super-Mare, was also found not guilty.

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