Bans on football fans who trashed Leeds city centre venue

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A football yob who smashed up a Leeds bar with seven others has been banned from professional soccer matches for three years.

Ben Morrison, 26, from Bishopthorpe, York, who received the football banning order at Leeds Crown Court, was among the gang who wrecked Spencers bar on Mill Hill after they stopped off in Leeds while returning from seeing York in an FA Cup tie against Rotherham last year.

Similar banning orders totalling 23 years have already been imposed on the other members of the gang – five from York and two from the Selby and Goole areas – along with courts costs of £3,500.

The eight are not allowed within half-a-mile of York City’s stadium for three hours before kick-off and three hours after the game.

Within the same period, they are prohibited from being inside the city walls and within 200 metres of York train station.

They are also required to sign in at a specified police station whenever the England national team play a fixture abroad.

Their prosecution was a result of a joint investigation by the West, North and South Yorkshire police forces. In the past year, the West Yorkshire Police football banning unit has secured orders against 20 Leeds United and seven Bradford City fans.

Chief Supt Mark Milsom said: “The vast majority of people attending matches are true supporters who want nothing more than to enjoy themselves by cheering their team. It is important we act to put a stop to any crime or antisocial behaviour, not just because of the impact it has on other supporters but also because of the wider impact on our clubs.

“Anyone who becomes involved in crime, antisocial behaviour or disorder connected to matches in West Yorkshire can expect a Football Banning Order.”

Chief Insp Dave Hannan, of York Safer Neighbourhood Command, said: “North Yorkshire Police take the issue of disorder at football matches very seriously.

“These people are not football fans and merely use matches as an excuse to cause trouble. Anyone intent on attending York City matches and causing trouble should be aware that there will be a police presence and the intelligence we gather on match days means there is a good chance they will be identified.

“Banning orders are a successful way of dealing with football-related disorder.”

Bus-ted! Why can’t Leeds get to work on time?