Humberside

Grimsby Town inflatable shark attack fan convicted

Kenneth Meech with an inflatable shark
Image caption Kenneth Meech described the prosecution as a "waste of the taxpayer's money"

A Grimsby Town fan has been found guilty of assaulting a football steward with an inflatable shark.

Kenneth Meech, 51, of Alexandra Road, Cleethorpes, watched his club win 3-1 at Barnet in a Conference game on 21 February.

Willesden Magistrates' Court heard he assaulted Barnet steward Cgagi Gladyng as he celebrated the victory.

Meech, who was among nearly 1,000 fans who travelled to The Hive stadium, denied a charge of common assault.

Mr Gladyng, 59, told the court he was hurt by the inflatable which was being waved "like an axe" and described the three blows to his head "as like being hit by a roll of paper".

He said he became frightened as the Grimsby Town fans surged towards the pitch.

'A bit deflated'

Meech was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £700 in costs, compensation of £100 and a victim surcharge.

He was not made the subject of a football banning order.

Speaking after the sentencing, he claimed the prosecution was a "waste of the taxpayer's money".

"I'm a bit deflated, to be honest," he said.

"Very surprised and shocked by the verdict, but got to respect what the court has said.

"I think if this didn't happen at football I wouldn't be here today, I'm sure of that."