North East Wales

Wrexham football fans 'grossly offensive' in Chester match, says judge

Left to right from top left hand side - Aidan Bannan; Craig Miller; Tomos Roberts; Jake Hughes; James West; Dean Pleavin and Mark Stephens
Image caption The men, who ranged in ages from 21 to 30, committed the offences during a match in August

Seven Wrexham football fans have been handed community sentences and football banning orders for public order offences at a Wrexham v Chester match.

The banning orders ranged from three to five years.

Six of the seven men also admitted either displaying an offensive banner or making offensive gestures or chants.

One of the men pleaded guilty to assaulting a steward who was working at the Wrexham football ground during the match in August.

District Judge Andrew Shaw, sitting at Wrexham magistrates court, described their actions were 'grossly offensive'.

Mark Stephens, 22, from Birmingham, was told he was lucky the steward he pushed down the stand at The Racecourse was not injured, but that his actions could have escalated the disorder.

He was given a 12 month community order to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also been given a five year football banning order.

Tomos Roberts, 23, from Wrexham, was given a curfew for six weeks and is subject to a football banning order of five years for his part in holding up the banner - which referred to the deaths of two Chester fans - making an offensive gesture and chanting the name of a Chester fan who had taken his own life.

Christopher West, 24, from Brymbo, who had previously breached banning orders, was given a five-year football banning order and will be under curfew for five months.

Aidan Brannan, 21, from Mold, pleaded guilty to holding up the offensive banner and to throwing a flare.

He was given a four-year football banning order and placed under curfew for four weeks.

Thirty-year-old Craig Millar, from Wrexham, was given a six-month curfew and a five-year football banning order.

Dean Pleavin, 21, from Wrexham, and Jake Hughes, 21, also from Wrexham, were both fined for offensive shouting and gesturing, and both subject to a three-year football banning order.

District Judge Andrew Shaw said the men's actions were "grossly offensive" and the planning of such a banner was a "cruel act".