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Court hears of soccer violence in Burton pub

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 26, 2014

10/09/13 Updated GV to go with Story - Lord Burton, High St,, Burton The Lord Burton - Wetherspoons, High St, Burton

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VIOLENCE erupted in a Burton pub ahead of a Burton Albion game as visiting fans decided to turn nasty, a court heard.

Customers in the Lord Burton, in High Street, cowered and were forced to dive for cover behind the bar under a hail of drinks, glasses and chairs.

One man, Peter Crockford, was struck on the head with a chair while a member of staff at the pub, Robert Winterton, described how terrified he and the customers were.

Fiona Cortese said among the gang of Rotherham supporters causing trouble was Connor Turford.

He was caught on the pub’s CCTV shouting and running with others towards a raised area of the premises where locals were sitting. He was also seen holding a chair.

Turford, 19, who admitted a charge of affray, was given a 12 month community order with 180 hours of unpaid community work and £250 costs to pay.

Recorder Mark Wall told him: “I hope you agree with me that when you look at what was going on in that pub, it can only be described as loutish behaviour by drunken men. You weren’t in the forefront, but you were adding to the frightening atmosphere.”

However, the judge decided not to impose a football banning order on Turford, because he had not been in trouble before.

Miss Cortese told Stafford Crown Court the visiting fans entered the pub around 1pm on February 9 last year.

Initially the atmosphere was good natured, but then the Rotherham fans began chanting towards a group sitting down in a raised area and the mood changed to ‘very hostile’.

The Rotherham fans surged towards the ‘locals’ shouting and violence broke out. Customers headed for cover behind the bar.

When police arrived officers saw drinks, glasses and chairs being thrown and frightened customers covering their heads.

The defendant, from Rotherham, was not arrested until August 13 and, after being shown the CCTV footage, told officers he had drunk seven bottles of alcohol.

Robert Sandford, defending, said: “It was, by any standard, a disgraceful disturbance in the pub. My client was not at the forefront of this - he has not been seen throwing punches or furniture.”

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