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Footie hooligan jailed and banned from matches after Birmingham train brawl

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Christopher Stevens

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A man has been jailed for 12 months and banned from attending football games for three years after starting a pre-match fight on a train in Birmingham.

Christopher Stevens, 52, was on his way to watch West Bromwich Albion versus Southampton on 28 February 2015 when violence broke out on a service from Snow Hill. 

As the train approached The Hawthorns, Saints supporter Stevens began to goad opposition fans, hurling abuse and making offensive gestures at them. 
 
Stevens then threw several punches and a man with him, Murrey Holmes, jumped on the seats and kicked out at the West Brom fans. During the brawl, one man was hit in the face and suffered a broken jaw while another received a cut to his head. 
 
Both men came forward following a media appeal and were later charged with affray, which Holmes, 24, admitted. Last summer he was handed a football banning order, as well as a suspended prison sentence.
 
But Stevens, of Ingle Glen, Dibden Purlieu, Southampton – who had previously been banned from games for football-related violence and had only just come off a banning order three months earlier – denied the offence, saying he acted in self-defence. 
 
However, a jury saw through his attempt to get away with his crime and he was found guilty. On 24 February, Stevens appeared before Wolverhampton Crown Court where he was jailed for 12 months and handed a three-year football banning order. 
 
Detective Constable Tim Friend said: “Stevens is an out-and-out football hooligan; CCTV footage clearly showed him instigating the fight on the train that day and the level of aggressive and violent behaviour he displayed was completely unacceptable. 
 
“The vast majority of football fans are well-behaved but Stevens is part of a very small minority who sadly don’t go to matches to enjoy the Beautiful Game, but attend with more sinister and dangerous intentions. 

“We are committed to protecting the travelling public from this kind of mindless hooliganism and we are satisfied with the sentence handed to Stevens, which we hope serves as a deterrent to like-minded troublemakers about the potential consequences of their actions
 

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