Northampton

Banning order to prevent 'Pig of Marseille' going to long-finished Euro 2016 dropped

James Shayler being arrested in Marseille in 1998 Image copyright PA
Image caption James Shayler had his passport taken from him in June

Plans to ban a football hooligan known as the 'Pig of Marseille' from going to the Euro 2016 tournament have been dropped - three months after it ended.

James Shayler, 50, of Wellingborough, was jailed during the 1998 World Cup in France for an attack on police.

His passport was confiscated at Northampton Magistrates' Court in June and the case adjourned until the day the tournament ended.

It had been due to resume earlier but the BBC learned it has been abandoned.

Court officials said police had asked for the case to be dropped on Thursday.

The banning order against Mr Shayler had been sought by police in response to alleged comments made in a Sunday Star newspaper article.

In the article, Mr Shayler suggested he intended to travel to France to join up with Russian supporters to attack Muslims.

Magistrates adjourned their decision on imposing a banning order until 11 July - the day Euro 2016 finished.

At that hearing it was put back again after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had requested more time to find a witness.

Last year the BBC reported cases heard in English magistrates' courts take 149 days on average to complete, with magistrates warning the system was "on the cusp" of breaking down.

During the case in June, the CPS had successfully applied to have two bail conditions imposed.

Under them, Mr Shayler was barred from leaving England or Wales before his next hearing and told he had to continue to surrender his UK passport to Northamptonshire Police.

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