Fans jailed for Manchester Uefa Cup final riot

CCTV footage of fans attacking police (GMP)
Image caption The riots were triggered by a big screen failing in Manchester in 2008

Twelve rioting football hooligans who took part in what a judge said was the worst destruction Manchester had seen "since the Blitz" have been sentenced.

Hundreds of Rangers fans caused "mayhem" as the Uefa Cup Final was played in the city two years ago.

Two police officers were caught and attacked, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Nine men were jailed, two were sent to young offenders' institutions, and another man was given a suspended sentence and community service.

An estimated 125,000 Rangers fans descended on the city for the game against Zenit St Petersburg in May 2008.

Stamped on

Trouble erupted in a fan zone after a giant screen in the city centre failed.

Judge Blake said: "The riot police were deployed in full riot gear and struggled to contain the trouble and restore order.

Image caption Scott McSeveney (L) and Mark Stoddart (R) both attacked police officers

"What followed was the worst night of violence and destruction suffered by Manchester city centre since the Blitz.

"What came afterwards, the damage, the filth and litter was apparent to all who arrived in Manchester the following day.

He said "many more" than the 12 defendants were involved.

The two officers who were assaulted were Pc Mick Regan and Pc John Goodwin.

Pc Goodwin was separated from his detachment, outnumbered by dozens of fans and stamped and kicked on.

He said later he thought he was going to die at the hands of the mob.

'Letting team down'

He was only saved after a Rangers fan, Sharon Gibson, lay across him and her boyfriend shouted: "You are letting the team down!"

She was awarded £200 by Judge Blake, who thanked her and paid tribute to her "enormous courage".

Scott McSeveney, 22, of Shotts, Lanarkshire, was jailed for three-and-a-half years for violent disorder and the assault on Pc John Goodwin and given an eight-year football banning order.

Mark Stoddart, 27, of Westmuir Street, Glasgow, was jailed for two-and-a-half years for violent disorder and assaulting Pc Regan.

He was also given an eight-year football banning order.

Police praised

Seven others were jailed for violent disorder. They were:

  • John Saunders, 32, from Fullarton Road, Cumbernauld, Glasgow, who was jailed for 15 months
  • Gordon Forrest, 36, from Ledi Drive, Bearsden, Glasgow, who was jailed for 14 months
  • Thomas Murphy, 28, of Flatterton Road, Greenock, Renfrewshire, who was jailed for 14 months
  • Greg McKenna, 23, of Falkland Drive, East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, who was jailed for 18 months
  • David McCullough, 21, of Moorcroft Drive, Manchester, was jailed for six months
  • Michael Hindle, 22, from Westmorland Close, Leyland, Lancashire, was jailed for eight months
  • James Bell, 43, of Corrie View, Cumbernauld, Glasgow, who was sent to prison for 12 months

All seven were given six-year banning orders.

Two others - Brian McVicar, 20, of Falkland Drive, East Kilbride, and William McSporran, 18, of Craighouse Street, Glasgow - were sent to a young offenders' institution for 21 and 12 months respectively. They were also given six-year banning orders.

David Annette, 35, of Yarrow Road, Chorley, Lancashire, was given a six-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 180 hours' community service. He must also pay £500 costs.

Judge Blake praised police for their investigation and thanked them on behalf of the citizens of Manchester.

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