Football fan changes plea over violent clash after being warned about court costs

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.
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A football fan who denied threatening opposing supporters in a town centre clash changed his plea after being told he could be facing court costs of more than £600.

Lee Haywood, of Booth Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words and behaviour following an altercation between Mansfield Town and Portsmouth fans in Mansfield town centre.

Portsmouth FC had been playing Stags that day at the One Call Stadium, Saturday 25th April, and was the last home fixture of the season.

Mansfield lost the game, 2-1.

The incident happened on Queen Street, outside the back of the Crown & Anchor pub, in which there was fight involving Haywood’s son.

Anna Pierrepoint, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said that Haywood then approached the Portsmouth fans with his arms outstretched.

She said the incident was captured on CCTV, and showed Haywood acting in an ‘aggressive manner’.

Haywood, a 44-year-old paint sprayer by trade, initially denied the charge put to him at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

Although he defended himself in the court room, he said he had spoken to a solicitor beforehand who had 
advised him to enter a not-guilty plea.

As standard practice, he was told by the clerk of the court that if it went to trial and he was found guilty, he would be forced to foot court costs of more than £600.

He could also face paying out a further £800 criminal courts charge.

Haywood then changed his plea and was told he must a pay £250 fine, £85 costs, £150 criminal court charge and a £25 surcharge, totalling 
£510.

The magistrates opted not to impose a football banning order, saying they did not think it was ‘proportionate’ to the nature of the incident.

The magistrate said: “It would have an impact on your son (whom he goes to matches with) and your family life.

“We accept that you are of good character and that you were defending your son, but let this be a lesson, you need to walk away.”

Haywood told magistrates: “I’m very sorry for what happened, it was a mistake and I was just trying to protect my son.”