Everton fan jailed for 'toddler' incident against Lyon

Friday, 1 June, 2018 145comments  |  Jump to most recent

The Everton fan who got involved in the pitch-side melee during Everton's Europa League game with his young son in his arms has been handed an eight-week prison sentence.

Micheal Fitzpatrick was holding his three-year-old while aiming a punch at an opposition player during a scrum involving players from both teams following a challenge by Blues defender Ashley Williams on Lyon's goalkeeper, Anthony Lopes, last October.

Already barred from returning to Goodison Park for life, he has also been banned from football for six years.

Superintendent Dave Charnock, of Merseyside police, said: “The police will not tolerate the selfish and idiotic actions of a few attempting to spoil a game of football that the vast majority of people went along to enjoy.”

“Fitzpatrick will now will have a criminal record and the consequences of this in the future could be significant.”

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Quotes sourced from The Guardian

Reader Comments (145)

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Steve Ferns
1 Posted 01/06/2018 at 15:45:24
It's sad how a moment of madness can cost someone so much. I'm sure he deeply regrets his actions. However, it wasn't the image of Everton we wanted flashing around the world.
Tony Sullivan
2 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:08:29
Seems a harsh punishment if it is for one 'mad' moment.

There appears to be no questions about the players' behaviour in this incident which may have been a contributory factor in the fans reaction.

Like I said, it seems harsh.

Steve Carse
3 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:33:02
Bit harsh for what was little more than a brief affray, albeit with the attendance of the child an unusual circumstance.

By the way, I love that third parargraph. He's banned from football for 6 years and banned from Everton for life – recognition then that there is no link between football and what goes on at Goodison Park.

Alan J Thompson
4 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:38:32
Will 8 weeks in prison really solve anything? There must be a better way.
Mike Gaynes
5 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:39:45
Tony, I'm disappointed by your attempt to gin up an excuse for this man's idiotic conduct in risking his little boy's safety. There isn't the slightest indication that Lopes, whose attention was focused on his scrap with Williams and the players, was even aware Fitzpatrick was there, let alone provoked his attack. And you can be certain the cops investigated that aspect.

A child can be grievously injured by a parent's mad moment.

I think this moron deserves everything he's getting and then some.

Dermot Byrne
6 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:42:02
I think he may have been caught out by the "Knobhead with Kid Act 1854".

He drops the kid, injures the kid? The lynch squad would be out.

Dermot Byrne
7 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:43:58
But I agree with you re the jail sentence Alan. Community Order to work for EitC? Unimaginative magistrates.
Philip McKeown
8 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:45:33
I am not for one moment condoning the antics of this individual and tarnishing the reputation of our club. But this most definitely reeks of the CPS (Criminal Protection Service) making the most of a higher profile incident. Burglars get less than this, ffs.
Martin Nicholls
9 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:48:39
If this is any sort of precedent, I wonder what punishment the lunatics, many with children in tow, who attacked the Man City team bus with flares, bottles etc will get? They premeditatedly (is that a word?!) took their children into what was little short of a war zone!
Lee Jackson
10 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:49:52
And what does Knobhead Williams get for instigating the whole scene? Surely he deserves a lifetime ban from the Everton first team?
David Barks
11 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:50:37
The idiot is lucky he hasn’t lost custody of his child as well. He got off lucky for endangering his child the way he did.
Brian Williams
12 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:50:48
Lee (#10).

I think you can take that as read mate.

Tony Sullivan
13 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:52:01
Mike, I am not sure the fan started the incident, I thought that was the players, certainly, he was drawn in and that was stupid.

Not sure the punishment fits the crime. What did Rooney get for driving under the influence? A fine and a community service order, seems more appropriate sentence in this case too.

Dave Rusk
14 Posted 01/06/2018 at 17:55:38
No arrests after the Man City game assaults, I see, conforming to the RS narrative of "lovable Scouse scamps".
Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:11:13
Dermot (#6), I'm pretty sure EitC wouldn't want a guy who has been permanently banned by the club. But some sort of community service might have been appropriate. Something for children.
John Wilson
16 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:22:18
6 week prison sentence and ban for life... bourgeois bastards. Williams started that and the fella at best did shadow boxing. I would love to analyse a magistrate's brain. It's like a normal conservative (tory) but with no brain power given too much responsibility their little brain to take.

Durkheim would regard this as 'deviancy' - ie criminalise the persons which are easiest to make a criminal than to criminalise the players (Williams) who started it, with his 'cock of the baths' demeanour. Criminal law is aid and abetting.

NB: Had this been a street fight and not in the bourgeois bastards ground then Williams would have been doing time as well. Yes I support Everton but when they use their capital to criminalise something trivial, they're bourgeois bastards. His lawyer probably doesn't even have a law degree or the magistrate has little brain power. Disgraceful. that fella has a criminal record now because of Williams. It is so difficult to perceive another's misery just because he acted what he believed was a 'live' and immediate threat to Williams. The fella likely thought he was helping Williams. His perception seems quite abnormal insofar as he believed, in his perception, that he was doing nothing wrong.

The child is just a distraction. The child was no where near in the vicinity of being harmed, as I recall from that video. The fan also did not strike any body so there is no assault, ie no actus reus (criminal act). It was likely 'assault' - ie threatening behaviour.

Caveat: I have been limited to 5 posts because I got carried away and posted 20. I will continue any such debate on the live forum. I am not going to waste my 4 responses on trivial crap. NB: My qualifications are bachelor of science in sociology and psychology and LLB (honours) law degree. I despair of this bourgeois criminal justice system I really do.

Dermot Byrne
17 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:24:48
Yeah, but with imagination Mike, you make the ban linked to the community service work for EitC. If these folk can run a business and judicial system worth hundreds of millions, surely such a win/win solution isn't beyond them? Clearly it is.

As for comments about RS. This is, for those with less legal knowledge, covered by the "Knobhead in Red Act 1962".

This was originally brought in to combat a plethora of fake Santas stealing from houses in the home counties back in the 1960s.

Disgracefully it has become a legal loophole exploited by RS, Manure and modern day Santas for crimes ranging from arson to assault and civil proceedings against the Department of Education for missing performance targets.

Dermot Byrne
18 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:28:19
Legal explanation: #16 or #17?

Your choice!

Chris Millar
19 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:31:03
I feel very strongly about what I saw that day. That "man" is no father. He should be ashamed of himself, he had no right getting involved while holding his son. An embarrassment to himself and the club. Good riddance.
John Wilson
20 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:37:38


I have 3 more responses out of my 5. I can't waste them. I'd rather not respond anymore than me limited in my TW responses. But if any of you want to debate this on the live forum on the above link, I can do that.

Steve Ferns
21 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:38:30
John, you should know better. This case was in the CJC. The court deals with all the cases for both football clubs as well as the target area of L4. It's lost the gravitas of what it once was, but it has full time District Judges dealing with all the cases. What I really take issue with is his lawyer not having a law degree. You know very well that he'd be represented by a Solicitor and you know how hard it is to get a training contract these days. The guy will have a 2:1 from a decent uni, or will be an experienced guy who's been around for a long time.

The fact is it's a deterrent sentence. The location and the presence of the child are significant aggravating features that would lift this out of what would normally be a Category 2 or Category 3 offence and be dealt with by no more than a community penalty. What we aren't told is his record of antecedents.

I would have told him to bring a bag and expect the worst. The District Judge was always going to make an example of him and an 8 week sentence will be easily upheld on appeal.

Dermot Byrne
22 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:39:56
John... I am just arsing around in spirit of end of a week. Don't waste any valuable posts.
Dermot Byrne
23 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:42:56
Shit Steve. I feel stupid quoting the "Knobhead" pieces of legislation! I bow to much much more knowledge!
Brian Hennessy
24 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:48:12
Rather than a prison sentence, he should be made watch a replay of all Everton matches from the season just gone.
John Keating
25 Posted 01/06/2018 at 18:52:34
Didn't someone get a life ban for calling Distin a French something or other?

To some Duncan is a legend for a few onfield assaults. Suarez is fine for vampire work.

Does seem a bit 'us and them'...

Mike Gaynes
27 Posted 01/06/2018 at 19:10:01
John (#16), your theory that this porky idiot thought he was acting to protect a muscular 180-pound professional footballer from an "imminent threat" is remarkable.

A less creative thinker might have gotten the impression that this moron ran all the way down from his seat to the barrier – at least eight steps visible on the video – with his little boy in one arm, waving the other and screaming, and then throwing two punches, because he was a fucking psycho trying to get in a cheap shot at an opposing player.

But your more sympathetic/heroic version lends a whole new perspective to this poor, misunderstood daddy's perception.

I wonder if his lawyer tried that.

Mike Gaynes
28 Posted 01/06/2018 at 19:15:02
Brian (#24), I was under the impression that the British legal system bans cruel and inhuman punishment.

Hell, the Atalanta and Arsenal home games would meet the international definition of torture.

Danny Broderick
29 Posted 01/06/2018 at 19:16:53
There's no doubt the sentence is a touch harsh. But let's face it, we are not in possession of all the facts – this guy could be a serial offender for all we know.

I also think he was an absolute moron for rushing to get involved in anything with a small boy in his hands. Surely anyone with a brain cell would be looking to protect a child, or at least stop them from seeing anything happening in circumstances like that? Never mind racing to the front to get involved! So I have got no sympathy for this guy – hopefully he will learn from it though.

Andy Crooks
31 Posted 01/06/2018 at 19:24:36
What good does it do anyone, including the taxpayer, to send this guy to prison? A deterrent? Okay, I was going to take my toddler grandson to the game and start a fight, but, fuck me, I just won't now.

Why not get the child put into care and just fucking hang him? Probably not enough for some. He is a half-witted idiot, it seems, who did something really, really stupid. Let's build a few more prisons if that is enough to get jailed.

Football supporters disgust the judiciary. Why could that be?

Dermot Byrne
32 Posted 01/06/2018 at 19:27:07
Koeman as mitigation, Andy?
John Wilson
33 Posted 01/06/2018 at 19:28:40
Okay, for those who just 'say what he or she sees' without reading all the words in my post.


I have 2 (current) more responses out of my 5.

I'd rather not respond anymore to the points raised simply because I cannot owing to an earlier forum topic (Marco Silva one) where I posted 20 (I stopped posting for while previously). I will limit said responses to a repeat of 'use live forum' if you want to discuss things; I can do that if any of you want to?

I can't comment in a normal dialogue type of way. So making statements about my post is just pointless.

I'd rather waste my 2 responses than post anything substantive to the points raised as one comment leads to another but I do not have the response privileged that these others do. So, please read each and every word before you respond in open responses (ie, indicating a debate or a series of responses).

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 01/06/2018 at 19:32:19
Andy, we've the biggest prison population in Europe. We (England & Wales) lock people up at the drop of a hat. Serial shoplifters can expect to go in and out of prison on an almost revolving door.

People like myself try to convince Magistrates that this is good for no one. I sincerely believe that a short custodial sentence of less than a month does no good for anyone, and government studies give credence to this argument. But it does not change the reality.

The fact of the matter is that the outraged daily tabloids stir up public fury and lead to constantly increasing sentences for a variety of offences. I could go on at length, but this is a football forum, and I come here to forget the pressure of work and I am not normally one for talking shop.

Brian Williams
35 Posted 01/06/2018 at 19:34:41
Don't go on, John, that's Steve Ferns's job.
Mike Gaynes
36 Posted 01/06/2018 at 19:51:02
Brian, you just made me bellow. I gotta have a Guinness with you on my next trip over there.

Steve, compared to your highly evolved country, mine is a goddamned prison camp. According to the latest statistics I can find, England has an incarceration rate of 148 per 100,000 population.

The US rate is five times that – 737 per 100,000.

And of course our figure is expected to rise sharply as corrupt Trump administration officials are perp-walked to the pen.

Brian Williams
37 Posted 01/06/2018 at 20:13:30
Looking forward to that, Mike. :-)
Len Hawkins
38 Posted 01/06/2018 at 20:23:24
I am no way condoning what the idiot did but in answer to the remarks about Magistrates I know 5 or 6 ex-workmates who became Magistrates they were the most naïve unstreetworthy people you could imagine.

Surely to do a task like that you have to know what actually goes on in life outside their Cliff Richard, Rupert the Bear, Listen with Mother world.

Ed Fitzgerald
39 Posted 01/06/2018 at 20:50:25
John Wilson,

Well done for having the courage and bravery for challenging the severity of this sentence which is ludicrous. It also exposes the double standards of Everton Football Club – who by taking their high minded approach over this incident should also sack Ashley Williams – they could also sack him for fraud (posing as a Premier League footballer).

Mike Gaynes – you will surely be delighted to welcoming Wayne Rooney to the USA – another criminal for to imprison?? – his crime was far more likely to cause damage to another person than the fan in this case.

The moral bankruptcy of the US justice and penal system beggars belief with the poorest at most risk – your opinion on this sentence resonates with much of the policy forwarded by your lunatic president. I laughed when you used the word 'evolved' as a good number of US states don't even recognise evolution as a scientific theory.

John Wilson – I would be careful about quoting Durkheim on here, as many may think he is a nippy continental wide player.

Andy Crooks
40 Posted 01/06/2018 at 20:58:25
Len, the guy was an idiot, a proper idiot. You make a fair point. In my view, the desire to be a magistrate should pretty often bar you from every being a magistrate.

I may be a mile off the mark here and will own up if I am, I would suggest that a fair amount who put themselves in the job like to see the law take it's course.

Anyway, I know the editors frown on off Everton posts, so, to keep it on topic: Is there any Evertonian (John McFarlane, perhaps) who could put up an article on Tony Kay and the bribes scandal, or recommend a book on the subject.

Andy Crooks
41 Posted 01/06/2018 at 21:09:19
Ed, good post. Sentencing someone to 8 weeks in prison is short-sighted, small-minded and totally unjustifiable. The cretinous magistrate has now made someone unemployable for the rest of their life. Prison is not a deterrent; getting caught is a deterrent. This fool made it easy for the police, sadly, our club and the courts to tick all the boxes.

Gavin McGarvey
42 Posted 01/06/2018 at 21:24:19
I have to side with those who see the prison sentence as over the top, with one reservation. Unlike the judge, we are not privy to his previous record. If it's clean, then this is a travesty, if it's at the end of a long line of offences (the last straw etc...) then perhaps it's in everyone's interest that he is pulled up before he does something even more ludicrous.

That being said, there's no justification for his actions, they were idiotic. As to the players' actions, well that is for the club to control, and I think it's fair to say neither the club nor the players involved have covered themselves in glory.

Steve Ferns
43 Posted 01/06/2018 at 21:33:57
There's no doubting this was a tough sentence. That was surely something the judge has been told to dish out at the CJC for violent offences by fans at both football clubs. That's the message they want sent out. That's also why the location (and event) is classed as a significant aggravating feature, as well as the presence and proximity of the child.

District Judges are also used to prevent good defence solicitors from doing a bit of smoke and mirrors and peddling a good sob story and getting lenient sentences in these cases from the unqualified Magistrates. Make no mistake, the judge will have been told what he must do in these kind of cases, and eyebrows would have been raised by his superiors if he'd not jailed Mr Fitzgerald, regardless of his record.

I'm not saying the Judge is right or he's wrong, I'm just trying to explain how in our system the sentence was expected and how an appeal court would simply bat it away, or perhaps even increase the sentence slightly. He'll be out in four weeks so he won't bother appealing anyway.

Alan Bodell
44 Posted 01/06/2018 at 21:46:45
What the feller endangering his young boy was stupidity but to jail him?

Where are the police taking action about the RS assault on the Man City bus? That's gone quiet, hasn't it? Our police are all over the place right now, Tommy Robinson?

Peter Mills
45 Posted 01/06/2018 at 21:49:18
As a hero of mine said 50 years ago, “San Quentin, what good do you think you do?”
Neil Copeland
46 Posted 01/06/2018 at 22:16:46
Peter, a Johnny Cash fan then?
Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 01/06/2018 at 22:17:22
Ed (#39), thank you for educating me on America, but you should actually try reading my posts a little more carefully.

What I said was that your country is far more evolved than mine in the area of criminal justice. Which is exactly what you said, albeit much less politely. So I believe my use of the word "evolved" was correct.

Your facts are also a little off target. For the record, there is no state in America that does not recognize evolution as science. (Not "scientific theory", Ed.) There are, however, far too many individual Americans who do dismiss evolution. Also, the lunatic president of my country is, in fact, doing everything he can to dismantle our legal system (particularly the agencies targeting him) and hastening to pardon all his friends for their crimes. He supports harsh law enforcement only for those with opposing political views, brown skin and foreign accents.

On a more serious note, however – if you really think that Rooney's drink driving was "far more likely to cause damage to another person" than a guy deliberately carrying his toddler into a brawl between professional athletes and throwing punches at them, then I would suggest you use the word "lunatic" a bit more carefully, because that's nonsense.

And as I said in post #15, I think some sort of community service might have been appropriate for the guy – but I strongly support Everton's decision to ban him. Going to Goodison is a privilege, not a right, and he has forfeited the privilege permanently.

Andy Crooks
48 Posted 01/06/2018 at 22:20:34
Borderline, Mike, but harsh in my view.
James Hopper
49 Posted 01/06/2018 at 22:23:25
Good! A moment of madness or not, that kind of behaviour just isn't on for most people and the punishment is light in my eyes. He'll only serve half of that anyway.

I can't believe the number of people defending the mindless idiot or attempting to justify it by comparing it to acts of violence which have carried a lesser punishment. It changes nothing.

Neil Copeland
50 Posted 01/06/2018 at 22:23:53
I wonder how much influence UEFA had on the Everton ban?
Damian Wilde
51 Posted 01/06/2018 at 22:34:15
John, you're wasting your responses! 😂
Brent Stephens
52 Posted 01/06/2018 at 22:39:11
The guy was rightly found guilty by the court. Would any of us on here even dream of endangering our own toddler the way he did? He was out of order.

So a sentence was called for. There are arguments one way or the other as to the leniency or severity of the sentence, and the nature of sentence (jail, community service etc). But I just wonder what we would be saying if this was an action from a Liverpool fan at Anfield. Well, I don't wonder, I know (always the victims etc).

Ed Fitzgerald
53 Posted 01/06/2018 at 22:49:45

I read your post very carefully and I know you alluded to the fact that UK model of justice is more highly evolved or advanced.– so what?You still advance an argument that the guy was treated equitably or reasonably.

As a professional Scientist and Science educator for over 38 years, I think you will find that the teaching of evolution is often eschewed in favour of creationism in a number of US states. You reveal your own ignorance of the topic when you can't attach the word 'theory' to 'evolution'. Perhaps you don't believe the theory of gravity either – because you can't touch it, feel it either – try jumping out of the window, then. I am sure you heard of the Scopes trial?

I would take my chance getting a punch off someone rather than facing a car being driven with someone with alcohol in their blood every time.

Andy Crooks
54 Posted 01/06/2018 at 22:50:03
James, "He'll only serve half of that anyway..." Listen to yourself. You demand he serves the full eight weeks!!!! That will show him.

I am not defending him, no-one rational could. Sending him to prison is utterly fucking ludicrous. Yes, it will deter toddler carrying assailants, and no doubt that is good because they are fucking rife.

Also, it will give him a criminal record making it highly unlikely that he will support his family again. That is really good. Most importantly, it will make the sanctimonious feel good.

He needs someone to have a word in his ear. To be with people who don't carry toddlers into battle. Not to spend a month with people who do.

Brent Stephens
55 Posted 01/06/2018 at 22:55:29
Ed (#53), "I would take my chance getting a punch off someone rather than facing a car being driven with someone with alcohol in their blood every time."

There's also the not-so-small point of the risk to the toddler getting hurt here, not just the person on the receiving end of a possible punch.

Ed Fitzgerald
56 Posted 01/06/2018 at 23:04:15

And your point is? A car driven by someone who is over the limit is going to pose more threat to anyone – adult or child – whether they are a passenger or pedestrian

The guy in question might be a dick but I think the sentence handed down and the club's stance is harsh and not equitable

Brent Stephens
57 Posted 01/06/2018 at 23:11:30
Ed, I didn't query the harshness of the sentence. I acknowledged the differences of opinion already expressed.

And I didn't introduce or comment on the hypothetical case and comparison of a drunk driver. My point is solely that there was a risk to the kid – which there was, surely. That's my point. No more nor less. I thought I'd already made it?

Ed Fitzgerald
58 Posted 01/06/2018 at 23:14:29
Hi Brent,

I'm not condoning the guy's behaviour as acceptable – what I am saying is the sentence is harsh and will damage the guy's family and child, perhaps for a lifetime.

Brent Stephens
59 Posted 01/06/2018 at 23:18:36
Hi Ed. Yes, that's why I didn't comment on the sentence but the risk to the kid. I can understand the comments about greater offences sometimes seeming to get a lesser sentence. I wouldn't have held my lad in my arms and thrown a punch like that – he's in his late 40s!
Mike Gaynes
60 Posted 02/06/2018 at 00:56:19
Ed (#53),

"You reveal your own ignorance of the topic when you can't attach the word 'theory' to 'evolution'."

First, your application of the word "ignorance" is beyond inappropriate. It is also inaccurate. Withdraw it.

Second, it may be a linguistic difference between British and American English, but here, Theory of Evolution means it is fact, not "scientific theory", which would mean less than fully proven.

Third, accept that I may know a bit more about the American public school system than you do when I say that Creationism is not taught in any public school here. It is taught in private and charter schools that do receive some public monies (for special programs supporting disabled students, scholarships for the poor, lunch programs and the like). And some public schools in Tennessee and Louisiana do teach that evolution is unproven "theory" and can be debated alongside ideas like intelligent design, which walks close to the line. But again, no US public school teaches creationism.

Don Alexander
61 Posted 02/06/2018 at 01:05:41
Well said, Andy Crooks (#54).
Pete Clarke
62 Posted 02/06/2018 at 01:45:39
Over-the-top sentencing him to jail in my eyes and a typical view of football fans by the courts.

Based on the level of violence involved, then Eric Cantona should have spent years behind bars.

Jamie Crowley
63 Posted 02/06/2018 at 03:03:46
Fucking held his own kid while going to take a punch at someone.

I'm with Gaynes. Maybe an American thing?

Who in the name of all that is holy would do that?

A bust-up! Let's go toss in a haymaker while I hold MY CHILD!

You gotta be kidding me?

Punishment fits the crime. Bringing in, "well Rooney does this" and a bit of, "well such and such does this" is not only disingenuous, but contradicts my Mum:

"If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?"

And another immortal Mum line:

"We're not talking about THEM, we're talking about YOU."

How can you ever justify the actions of a father who jumps into a fight while holding his young boy in the crowd versus a player on a pitch seeing red mist and losing his shit??

I'm with Gaynes. Punishment fits the crime.

Jamie Crowley
64 Posted 02/06/2018 at 03:06:53
What in the world do American schools teaching creationism have to do with any of this???

Deflect the blame, bring up a completely unrelated matter, create a loose parallel, and have at it.


Ernie Baywood
65 Posted 02/06/2018 at 04:20:56
He was well out of order. And a dickhead for doing that with a child in his arms.

In terms of football, the long ban sends exactly the right message. Deserves what he's getting.

In a criminal context? There'll be much worse incidents all over Liverpool tonight. Are they all getting more than 8 weeks for it? Seems ridiculously heavy handed unless he's got all sorts of previous.

Phil Sammon
66 Posted 02/06/2018 at 04:32:23
I'd happily see all clear and blatant idiots jailed... but it doesn't seem quite right that this particular fool is banged up while malicious home invaders are given community service.

Ultimately, the decision to incarcerate depends on how you view the obligations of the criminal justice system. Is it society's job to punish, rehabilitate... or both?

Ed Fitzgerald
67 Posted 02/06/2018 at 06:23:35
Jamie & Mike,

In the good old USA, your imprison more people per head of population than any country in the world – that's a statistic to be proud of because it's really working for you, isn't it? Stopping crime?

Your arcane gun laws are a joke – the latest wheeze from your President is to arm teachers to stop school shootings, FFS.

Mike are you a trained, qualified Scientist? Perhaps you think the Earth is flat as well. FFS

Your arrogant and ignorant assumption that I have no knowledge of or close colleagues who work in the American education system is wrong.

As I said initially, the sentencing was inappropriate and will do more damage than any good.

Darren Hind
68 Posted 02/06/2018 at 06:57:29
Yeah, let's punish the innocent child. Let's ensure his/her arl fella never gets a job.

Mike Gaynes
69 Posted 02/06/2018 at 07:07:52
Ignorance, thy name is Fitzgerald.

Can't spell, can't read correctly, can't comprehend, touts with his educational background with incorrect grammar, spouts about a country he has no first-hand experience with, and falls back on deflection and non sequitor to cover for attempting to justify criminal child endangerment.

And still insists, beyond all reason or rationality and with the stubbornness of a thumb-sucking four-year-old, that a drunken Wayne Rooney was more of a danger to a child like that than the daddy who deliberately carried him into the middle of a brawl involving eight or ten very large angry men.

Whoever the Trump equivalent is in Britain, I guarantee Fitzgerald is wearing his hat.

Mike Gaynes
70 Posted 02/06/2018 at 07:14:07
Darren, is it common with English criminal justice that a misdemeanor conviction makes it impossible to get a job? Would the conviction or the eight-week sentence be responsible for that? Seems the disagreement here is with that harsh sentence, not the conviction. Or in your opinion should the father not have been charged at all for his intrusion from the stands?

Darren Hind
71 Posted 02/06/2018 at 07:19:20
It doesn't render his chances of gaining employment impossible, Mike, but his chances just got an awful lot slimmer.

The guy needed to be punished. The kid didn't.

Ernie Baywood
72 Posted 02/06/2018 at 07:25:15
The kid hasn't been punished, the dad has.

The kid already had his bad luck. His dad's a dickhead. Unfortunately there are plenty of kids in that position.

Darren Hind
73 Posted 02/06/2018 at 07:30:00

Now his dad's a dickhead with a prison record, it's difficult enough to get work without being an ex-con. Very few people will employ him.

I'm no social expert, I just think this was the wrong punishment, it's one which has to be to the disadvantage of his entire family.

Mike Gaynes
74 Posted 02/06/2018 at 08:06:02
Darren, I'm fine with the idea that community service would have been an appropriate alternative to jail time, but I'd suggest that if the legal process has discouraged Dad from similar future conduct, the child has been protected rather than punished.

I would also point out that there's a lot we don't know. As mentioned by a previous poster, we don't know if this is Dad's first offence, or whether he has a history of misconduct or even violence. We don't know exactly where he was sitting or how far he had to run to get involved (although we do know he had at least eight seconds to change his mind about throwing punches into the melee). And we don't know if he was sitting alone with the child, or whether he had the chance to hand him off to another family member before involving himself. The magistrate would have had all that information. We do not.

What we do know is that he did something that nobody else in Goodison did, what very few fans in any sporting event have ever done, or that anyone on this board would remotely consider justifiable or rational. (I have had a considerable temper myself, and I've thrown more punches than I care to recall, but in my worst red mist I'd never even conceive of doing what he did.) And we also know for certain that his child was, at least briefly, in considerable danger.

I would also suggest that the criminal conviction itself – plus the very public display of idiocy – already likely impacted Dad's employability far more than the punishment.

Peter Lee
75 Posted 02/06/2018 at 08:26:02
If he behaves himself he'll serve 18 days, maybe 16 if 18 takes him to a Sunday. The judge knows this. If he's working he might or might not lose his job. Depends on the employer. If he's on benefits his claim will lapse and he'll need to make a new one. No money for six weeks. If he has partner who isn't working it's more complicated.

In the future he may find it a little harder to pick up a job. In my experience it's easier for ex-offenders if they have a good employment record or if they have good qualifications. If they have neither it's tough, but then it is for anyone in that predicament.

Our prison population is little different in nature from that of the US I suspect. The majority of those inside come from poor backgrounds, have few educational qualifications, have mental health problems, literacy problems and dependency problems. Locking them up is cheaper than facing and dealing with those problems. It also panders to the majority voter view that "prison works", "it's too soft inside", etc.

A life ban from football, an appropriate fine and a community sentence that didn't impact on employment would do the trick. I'd also allow the possibility of an appeal against the ban at some future date.

Regarding science. Generally, those ideas which appear to be generally correct are described as "hypotheses". If tested and not found wanting they translate to a "theory". Being cautious people, scientists are usually happy to leave it at that. After all, Einstein was content to describe his theory of relativity. Latest research shows that this may not apply in certain circumstances. Note " may".

Those phenomena which lend themselves to a simpler treatment via equations are sometimes described as "laws". Even these are often far from perfect.

Paul Tran
76 Posted 02/06/2018 at 08:31:20
Mike, the way the system works is that, for a specified period of time, you have to declare a conviction when you apply for a job. This makes it difficult to get a job and has clear implications for your family.

I've worked with unemployed ex-offenders and the problem is that, if they are in prison, form 'connections' while inside and struggle to get work when they're released, it can be easier to go back to crime to pay the bills. Some may argue that's a good thing, others wouldn't.

The deeper issue is whether a custodial sentence is for the greater good and I'm not convinced that's the case here.

Darren Hind
77 Posted 02/06/2018 at 08:38:42
Interesting post, Mike

As too was Peter's and Paul`s. You three clearly know what you are talking about. I have little more than gut reaction to add to this debate.

Eddie Dunn
78 Posted 02/06/2018 at 08:49:25
I think the bloke holding the kid has been harshly treated. Prison is not the solution – it will ruin his life and make his child's life worse.

As others have said, surely Ashley Williams was far more guilty and has not been charged by the police or banned by EFC.

I wouldn't even ban the fan for life, perhaps a year would be enough to make him think twice in a similar situation.

Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 02/06/2018 at 08:49:51
Understood, Paul my friend, thanks for the expert explanation. My question was more about the sentence than the conviction – whether a conviction with actual jail time would be more of an impediment with a future employer than a conviction with probation or community service.

Here in the US there's no time limit – the typical job application asks "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?" – but the actual sentence has little impact on subsequent job prospects.

The get-a-job-or-go-back-to-crime issue is the same in the US, although vastly multiplied since we have so many more people incarcerated for longer periods.

If Dad is a first offender, I'd agree that jail might not be appropriate, but we have no way of knowing if he is or not. And I don't know if psychological counseling or anger management is typically part of a judge's order in Britain, but this guy obviously needs professional help, because what he did was crazy.

Pete Clarke
80 Posted 02/06/2018 at 08:54:14
He who casts the first stone!

Who on here in their lives has not done something stupid that warranted punishment? He may be a total dickhead or he just had a crazy moment but to put someone in jail and then you see drug dealers, burglars and other good-for-nothing criminals getting light sentences or none at all then the system makes you sick.

Coppers have a tough job but there are plenty of them who should have gone to jail with the hammering we took at a lot of away games. I guess that's okay though because these judges just see football fans in as all being of a thuggish nature.

Mike Gaynes
81 Posted 02/06/2018 at 08:58:41
Darren, your gut reactions always bring value to a debate, even though your gut and mine always seem to disagree. ;-)

(I actually find it sorta comforting.)

Paul Tran
82 Posted 02/06/2018 at 09:20:44
Nothing wrong with gut reactions, Darren. Knowing the law is important, but often the application of the law is based on a judge's/magistrate's instinctive judgement of the individual situation.

That's why we often see outcry about 'lenient' sentences, from people who combine lack of knowledge of the law and discretionary sentencing with their gut instinct of what 'should' be done.

Tony Abrahams
83 Posted 02/06/2018 at 09:56:12
Surely it depends on the charge? I remember Cantana's famous Kung-fu kick, was deemed Common Assault, which enabled him to get off with a suspended sentence, the law as they say, is an ass!
Steven Astley
84 Posted 02/06/2018 at 10:35:35
Fully deserved in my opinion, shame it wasn't longer. An absolute scrote of the highest order.
Ed Fitzgerald
85 Posted 02/06/2018 at 11:03:18
Mike Gaynes

Typing on an iPhone with poor eyesight late at night or early morning may result in the odd grammatical mistake, shoot me – you probably would in the USA.

I wasn't flouting anything – just providing the basis on which my views are formed.

In a similar vein, my views on Everton, Football, Fan behaviour etc have been formed having been a season ticket holder for over 45 years.

What good has it done imprisoning that fan? He might have done something idiotic but it's going to damage his family long term. I find the club's lifetime ban hypocritical given that we have employed the likes of Jeffers, Baxter, and Ferguson.

On certain threads on TW of late, I note a schism in posters' responses to a variety of issues. It's a little crude but those who live in the City (or Merseyside) tend to take a different line to those who do not originate from the city or no longer live in Merseyside. It was palpable on last week's Champions League Final thread. I guess I've become increasingly irritated by that and so, for that reason it's time to leave, TW.

Paul Tran
86 Posted 02/06/2018 at 11:32:16
As an exiled Scouser, Ed, what's your point?
Steve Ferns
87 Posted 02/06/2018 at 11:58:15
Ed, your points over prison don't just apply to this guy but the culture we have in the UK. You need to understand that we do have a culture of locking people up. The fact that people above have alluded to the "soft sentencing" certain types of criminals get alludes to ignorance of the reality, based on a few well placed and severely twisted headlines in the likes of the Daily Mail that sell papers by whipping up outrage. Think of the non-football supporting person reading about this in the Daily Mail they're likely to be outraged at the leniency of this sentence, I can only imagine the comments section.

The fact of the matter is we lock up more people, and at a higher rate than any other EU country. Is this because we have a severe problem with crime? No, not on what I've seen or read. It's a culture thing; in this country, we like to blame and punish.

I could go on at length about the issues I see on a daily basis with society, how there are certain people who are destined from childhood to have no prospects in life. However, this is a football forum, and that's deeply depressing stuff and most on here are on here for some escapism or entertainment.

Geoff Lambert
88 Posted 02/06/2018 at 12:17:21
Darren, I don't know what your employment status is! Can I ask you if you would employ him or want him working for you?

I know I would not want this type of idiot working for and representing my company.

Martin Nicholls
89 Posted 02/06/2018 at 12:57:08
Geoff – if it transpired that he was a decent footballer, I'm sure EFC would overturn its own ban and offer him employment!
Gerard McKean
90 Posted 02/06/2018 at 14:19:11
I'm sure by now the lad himself knows he acted like a total dickhead and I hope he's repenting at leisure, but a prison sentence, really? As others have pointed out, who is that supposed to help? Not his young family for sure.

Community service would have been more appropriate and why not for EitC? That is precisely what a “People's Club” should be doing. Yes, work him hard in the service of others but also provide him with a place on a parenting course and work with him to become a better dad and man.

The double standard of the club banning him for life while their players who caused the melee receive no more than a ticking off at worst. The club sees fit to allow ex-players convicted of violence and drugs related offences to work at Finch Farm. If that's okay, then why is not okay also to attempt to rehabilitate a fan who looks like he hasn't got much else going in life apart from his love of Everton?

He is a fool, present tense. The club has the power to change that description and make a better future for him, his family and probably for society generally.

Henry Lloyd
91 Posted 02/06/2018 at 14:51:27
8 weeks in jail for your first offence!! Let's be honest, he was an absolute dickhead to do what he did with his own child in his arms. But to get a prison sentence is fucking ridiculous.

Ashley Williams should have gone to jail, the fucking idiot. Hopefully he will fuck off come the summer as he is a total liability.

Ernie Baywood
92 Posted 02/06/2018 at 14:59:06
Not for one second do I think 8 weeks was appropriate for what was little more than a couple of open-handed slaps but I just don't get this idea that you can't punish a man because he has a child.

Are we advocating only imprisoning the childless? He did the wrong thing – he gets punished for it. The kid doesn't come into it.

Ash Moore
93 Posted 02/06/2018 at 15:00:06
Eight weeks in prison for that! Dunc got three months in comparison – and he actually connected.
Dave Abrahams
94 Posted 02/06/2018 at 15:17:56
In the original piece, it states that Police Officer Dave Charnock said that the offender will now have a criminal record. I take that to mean he had a clean record before this offence,

This might alter some people's opinion of the offence and sentence.

Alan McGuffog
95 Posted 02/06/2018 at 15:33:05
Gerard, an excellent post. I'm in total accord.
Henry Lloyd
96 Posted 02/06/2018 at 15:34:50
Yes, Dave.

That is the point and I had read that and so I simply say again 8 weeks for your first offence is fucking ridiculous!! End of story!

Dermot Byrne
97 Posted 02/06/2018 at 15:40:30
I think more damning than the sentence is he will be forever known as "that Knobhead"!
Alan J Thompson
98 Posted 02/06/2018 at 16:01:04
So he gets 8 weeks while the players involved get off scot-free.

There was a piece of graffiti that said life was like a shit sandwich: the more bread you have, the less shit you have to take.

Dave Abrahams
99 Posted 02/06/2018 at 16:04:58
Henry (#96), I think you are absolutely correct.
Jamie Crowley
100 Posted 02/06/2018 at 17:22:44
But Alan, we are not talking about the players, we are talking about the father whose actions warrant punishment.

But, seeing how a hell of a lot of people on this thread seemingly have no idea whatsoever about the concept of personal responsibility, let's go ahead and bring the players into the discussion. Even though they have nothig to do with this man's actions.

The players have a referee and are in a controlled environment. The dad is not allowed contact with the run of play or players, and he had a kid in his arms when he went to join a fracas that he is not allowed to join. And that action endangered the child!

So... 8 weeks jail time? Yup, adds up to me!

Tony Abrahams
101 Posted 02/06/2018 at 17:41:38
Different classes have different views, the fella lost his head, but I think he was always going to make a holy show of himself, rather than endanger his kid.

Maybe I'm wrong, but life is full of double standards imo, and I personally feel the lad needs help rather than jail.

I thought it was great the way Everton gave Jose Baxter the chance to get over his shame, so I think it's poor the way they have dealt with this man's stupidity.

Banned for life, so how is the young kid going to get to see Everton now? Hopefully after he's done his sentence, the club could help by giving him some rehabilitation.

Gerard McKean
102 Posted 02/06/2018 at 19:28:18
Sensible suggestion, Tony (#101). He's done wrong and deserves to pay for it. I still think community service would have better for all parties but I am deeply troubled that he is punished very harshly not just once but twice. Is that double jeopardy? Instead of banning him for life, the club should be looking to help him when he gets out of prison.

Instead of wasting (lots of) money on getting Hope University to write glowing evaluations in a mutual back-scratching exercise, EitC should be looking at how to invest in helping lads (and girls) like this.

I don't know him but I'm guessing that only a charity carrying the Everton name would be able to bring this young man to a programme that could change his life. He's one of ours and needs help not banishment.

Dave Abrahams
103 Posted 02/06/2018 at 19:40:50
Jamie (#100), I think most people commenting on this thread have acknowledged that the lad did wrong and should be punished. It is the punishment that many, including me, think is far too harsh. You think the sentence is fully justified while a lot of us think it is well over the top.
Jamie Crowley
105 Posted 02/06/2018 at 20:45:13
I agree, Dave, and in an honest moment, I may be open to considering it fair that he do community service work.

What gets me a bit fired up are the myriad of posts comparing what this man did with unrelated issues or the players themselves. You just can't compare them. This is an isolated incident which can't be diminished by saying, "Well what about the players?"

What about my Aunt Mary and her cousin's neighbor? Who gives a fart what my Aunt Mary, her cousin's neighbor, the players, or creationism have done – they've no relation to this man and his actions.

I don't understand how one can say, quite child-like, "Well what about them?!" We're talking about this man and the consequences of his actions on himself and his son. That's it.

Just drives me a bit nuts. I'll drop it. I've beaten the dead horse. Everyone have a great weekend.

Dave Abrahams
106 Posted 02/06/2018 at 20:53:24
Jamie, fair enough.
Brian Hill
107 Posted 02/06/2018 at 21:18:52
Jamie Crowley, what on Earth does creationism have to do with this discussion?
Mike Gaynes
108 Posted 02/06/2018 at 21:41:20
Brian (#107), Fitzgerald brought it up as part of a recurrent rant against US culture in general and our criminal justice system in particular.
Peter Lee
109 Posted 02/06/2018 at 21:57:48
Hope you revise your decision to bin TW, Mike. I always enjoy your posts and the threads are very often in need of a voice of reason to balance the knee-jerk stuff.

Not sure about the split being local vs wider. How can you tell?

Mike Gaynes
110 Posted 02/06/2018 at 22:04:11
Me? Bin TW? No way, Peter. Heck, my only friends are here. ;-)

I didn't write about any split either. You must have mixed me up with somebody else's post.

Tony Abrahams
111 Posted 02/06/2018 at 22:31:15
Agreed, Gerard, a call off someone connected to Everton would probably be one of the best things to happen to this fella, the minute he comes out of jail.

He's been taken away from his family, who will probably suffer a lot more than he will over the next few weeks, so imagine getting out and being able to take his little boy back to Goodison again.

Everyone deserves a second chance but, unless we get one, then how can we ever be allowed to improve ourselves?

Steve Ferns
112 Posted 02/06/2018 at 22:45:21
Doesn't EitC do a lot of work with offenders? I'm sure it was mentioned when DBB collected her gong off David Cameron, then Prime Minister.

If so, then EitC must get involved. If they don't then surely it makes a mockery of them. And those bans for life are often overturned. He's banned for a set time by the courts (ancillary order, not double jeopardy; otherwise, drink drivers couldn't be banned!) and the club is free to reduce their ban down to match this (was it six years?).

The court can also reduce the ban on application (say if he doesn't offend and through work with EitC can demonstrate a positive change in attitude). It'll be interesting to see how EitC react to this.

Alan J Thompson
113 Posted 03/06/2018 at 08:27:00
Thank heavens the players who started this and were involved are an unrelated issue. As for being in a controlled situation, it doesn't seem to have been working and does not put anyone beyond the law which I would hope is enforced without fear or favouritism. Regardless, the penalty seems excessive and probably achieves little if anything.
Eric Paul
114 Posted 03/06/2018 at 09:16:22
I think we all agree that he behaved like a cock but, if he did it anywhere but at a football match, I very much doubt he would have received a custodial sentence.
Shane Corcoran
115 Posted 03/06/2018 at 09:21:34
The question is, will he be inside long enough to be rehabilitated?
Tony Abrahams
116 Posted 03/06/2018 at 09:27:28
That's the whole point, imo, Shane. He's made a proper fool of himself and his family but, unfortunately for him, it has been witnessed by millions of people around the globe. Unless he's the type to gloat about it (loads would), then I'm sure he's already faced his biggest deterrent?
Derek Thomas
117 Posted 03/06/2018 at 09:36:10
Andy Crooks @40: The Kay thing went like this;

Kay; 'Who are we playing next week'

2nd player; 'Ipswich'

Kay; 'We never get anything there'

3rd player; 'Give us 50 quid each and I'll put a bet on, I know a fella who will give us 2-1... at least we'll get something out of it. (I believe player 3's dad put the bet the but don't quote me)

Jimmy Faulds (who, adding Insult to injury, was an ex-Everton player too) tried to parley this information as mitigation for his own misdemeanors.

When the story broke in The People on Sunday morning, it all became a media circus. The FA, probably due to all the publicity, went to town on it to, correctly, if heavy-handedly, to discourage others from betting, especially on their own games, as this might cause them to throw the game. So the bet winnings was deemed a bribe. Though the actual link was tenuous at best.

The above is basically Kay's own version; I dare say there was and is more to it... it may even come out as time passes.

I can still remember the newspaper advertising plackard-carrying guys... "Everton player in bribes scandal". Various names were bandied about in the ground, the consensus near us was Denis Stevens, because not many liked him for replacing Collins... a belated "sorry", Denis.

I can't remember offhand if Kay was good, bad or indifferent in that game, but I suspect he was his usual self, from what I've gathered, anything else wasn't in his nature... but I am a bit biased.

Shane Corcoran
118 Posted 03/06/2018 at 09:41:32
Tony, my comment was tongue-in-cheek.

The fact that he had a child in his hand muddies it a bit, but otherwise, on the basis that he had no prior convictions, the sentence is a joke.

I'm not sure how it is in the UK, but every sentence for serious assault in Ireland seems to be preceded by the line "the defendant, who had 60 odd previous convictions..." But this guy did it at a football game, the game that tolerates endless verbal assaults from the terraces, and he ends up with a custodial sentence for a bit of a slap.

He's an idiot, amongst seemingly endless idiots that attend football matches, but he's the only one heading to the slammer.

John Pickles
119 Posted 03/06/2018 at 10:30:43
Already barred from returning to Goodison Park for life, he has also been banned from football for six years.

I knew it was bad last season, it didn't even qualify as football.

Gerard McKean
120 Posted 03/06/2018 at 14:03:50
Andy (#40), Derek (#117), Tony Kay was a magnificent player and one tough competitor; the paper that broke the story some time later, The People, used to give players marks out of 10 for their performance. Nobody ever got 10, well very, very rarely. Kay was awarded 10 for that game against Ipswich, which should tell you all you need to know that he did everything he could to win the game.

This is not as off topic as it may seem because I feel from the 1960s onwards, Everton were regularly involved in punishments and sanctions that were not evenly applied to other clubs. Compare Kay to Ferdinand missing a drugs test, for example, or Niasse the only player suspended for diving, or this lad now being punished twice over for one offence.

The sad truth is that the people at boardroom level are more anxious to please politicians than Evertonians; nobody will ever convince me that Philip Carter showed more loyalty to Thatcher than he ever did to us. As Chairman of the Liverpool Conservatives as well as Everton, his opposition could well have prevented the Heysel ban. He did not oppose it.

The treatment of the lad falls into a similar category of wanting to please those in political power. Yes, Steve (#112), it will be interesting to see how EitC reacts now, but don't hold your breath. And don't refer to her as 'DBB'; a blazer steward who politely opened a door for her and bid “Good afternoon, DBB” was sacked for ‘disrespect'.

Dave Abrahams
121 Posted 03/06/2018 at 14:33:21
Further to the Tony Kay story, Tony was MotM in the game he was accused of throwing, he was interviewed by The People newspaper later on and admitted his part in betting on the match, all he had to do was deny he had a bet on the game and point out he had been voted Sheffield Wednesday's best player on the day involved.

Jimmy Gauld was the former Everton player involved with the betting and throwing of games. One of the main men in organising the betting and throwing of these matches; Peter Swan and "Bronco" Lane of Sheffield Wednesday were also heavily involved, along with a player connected to Tranmere Rovers.

Not a lot of money connected to the betting but the players were very silly to get themselves involved and fuckin' stupid in admitting their involvement. They basically gave themselves up.

The biggest losers financially were Everton after spending close to £60,000 on Tony Kay plus over £2,000 on his defence in court fees.

Jay Wood

122 Posted 03/06/2018 at 14:44:48
Is this still rumbling...?

Not a fan of the 'flog 'em hard and hang 'em high' sentencing some seem to be advocating.

Have many of you taken the time to read what the lad himself said?

He is 30-years-old. After the incident, "I was out of the police station inside half an hour with my solicitor. But I'm ashamed of what I've done. I already know. I'm not a fucking dickhead."

"It was not intentional but I’d been too concentrated on screaming abuse at the players for being shit." (Something a lot of us were doing last season!).

He confessed he go too close to the brawl after getting "carried away", and put himself and his son in what he called a "dangerous position".

Added to being ashamed of what he'd done, he also feared he would be banned from accessing his children.

The courts and the bizzies have ensured he will be separated from them for the term of his sentence.

I for one am also uncomfortable with the words of the Superintendent of Merseyside police, Dave Charnock:

“The majority of fans went to the game to enjoy it for what it was – a football match between two passionate clubs.

“The police will not tolerate the selfish and idiotic actions of a few attempting to spoil a game of football that the vast majority of people went along to enjoy.

Surely if he was truly intolerant of the "selfish and idiotic actions of a few attempting to spoil a game of football", then he needed to take a closer look at the conduct of nearly every player on the pitch involved in the melee that provoked Fitzpatrick's reaction.

Nor do I care for the almost gleeful comment the Police Super added: "Fitzpatrick will now have a criminal record and the consequences of this in the future could be significant.”

Well good for you, super. And thanks for protecting society from such an obvious villain.

This is a case for EiTC. Not the courts.

Alan J Thompson
123 Posted 03/06/2018 at 16:27:51
Well said, Jay Wood (#122).

On the Tony Kay matter, it was said that it was the first example of secretly recording a conversation, that between Kay and The People reporter on Kay's front doorstep or in the reporter's car. Apparently, the recording was so poor that the conversation could be barely understood and it has been said that it would not have been allowed in evidence.

John G Davies
124 Posted 03/06/2018 at 16:45:31
"Get him in Walton. Throw the key away."

The kid made a mistake, showing a bit of frustration that's all.

Anyone praising the sentence would change their mind after the first day if they had the misfortune to be in the same situation through one mistake.

Andy Crooks
125 Posted 03/06/2018 at 17:18:31
Jay, John G, Alan J, good posts. This sentence is without justification, is severe and out of proportion. It epitomizes the attitude of the police and the courts with regard to working class Liverpudlians. This sentence does nothing but appease those who believe they have lived whiter than white lives and who put punishment before justice and common sense.
David Barks
126 Posted 03/06/2018 at 17:25:45
In what world is an 8-week sentence equivalent to locking him up and throwing away the key? I haven't seen anyone advocate such a thing. I don't necessarily agree with an 8-week sentence, but I also don't agree that some community service is all that was warranted.

You simply can not have fans attacking or attempting to attack the players on the pitch or whatever playing surface of a given sporting event. And to do so while holding a young child was completely inexcusable.

A crime isn't solely judged as to whether the worst case scenario came to fruition. Just because he didn't land a significant blow to the player and his child wasn't severely injured because of his wreckless action, does not mean the episode is just brushed under the rug.

I completely disagree with the idiotic comments that gleefully say he's now going to have a difficult life because of a criminal conviction. That is incredibly unprofessional, to take joy in such matters. But let's not make as if this man's life has now been ruined. It hasn't, but he did this to himself and “it was a moment of madness” is never an acceptable excuse.

John G Davies
127 Posted 03/06/2018 at 17:33:36
What sentence, in your opinion, was warranted, David Barks?
Chris Gould
128 Posted 03/06/2018 at 18:02:58
Andy, the sentence has nothing to do with the police. They have no influence on it whatsoever. They arrest the guy, get statements, CCTV, other evidence, and then pass it onto the CPS who decide whether the suspect gets charged or not. If they do, it goes to court.

Once it gets to court, then police do no more than give witness statements and assist the prosecution with anything that may have gone amiss. The police could hardly do nothing in this situation, so having a pop at them is unfair.

He'll only do 4 weeks and we don't know if he's had previous convictions for assault which may have been taken into consideration.

Dave Abrahams
129 Posted 03/06/2018 at 18:07:13
Alan (123), from memory, the conversation between Tony Kay and the snide reporter was on Tony's front doorstep. That conversation was the beginning of the end for Tony, especially where football was concerned.

I think he was later convicted of some minor crime concerning jewellery and might have entered one of the Queen's establishments again. What should have been a great football career and maybe a World Cup medal ended on his front doorstep that tragic Sunday morning.

Dave Abrahams
130 Posted 03/06/2018 at 20:34:56
David (#126), "a moment of madness" has been an acceptable excuse in many court cases, as long as your face fits; this lad's face didn't.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
131 Posted 03/06/2018 at 21:14:27
I should admonish you for taking this thread off-topic, Andy (#40), but I was convinced we had run a story on Tony Kay... or maybe it was just a feature on the TV docudrama from a few years back?

Anyway, I did come up with this fascinating but rather sad letter we published from Tony Kay himself, about how he fell out with Everton goalkeeper Albert Dunlop, also through the malicious involvement of The People newspaper:

A Letter from Tony Kay of Sheffield Wednesday, Everton and England

Michael Kenrick
132 Posted 03/06/2018 at 21:48:37
There is also this thread, which came up in our Mailbag 12 years ago: Tony Kay.

I found that linked from the Wikipedia page on the 1964 British betting scandal, which shows the 'problem' of betting/match-fixing to have been much broader than I recall — with Tony Kay the biggest of the fish caught.

There is also this Interview with Tony Kay at the now defunct Blue Kipper.

The BBC Docudrama from 1997 was called The Fix, with Jason Issacs playing Kay, Steve Coogan as the obnoxious journo, Mike Gabbert, and Colin Welland as an enigmatic Harry Catterick.

Paul Brown
133 Posted 03/06/2018 at 21:54:38
If this skirmish happened in a Liverpool vs Man Utd game at Anfield, this would be palmed off as hand bags etc,

If s player chomps on your neck in public? A three-month ban .

A bus gets wrecked by fans, multi million pound assets under attack from a pack-like mob with a history for tragedy and it gets blamed on Everton or Chelsea fans not their own.

A fan gets battered outside the Kop and there are calls for Roma to be kicked out,

Salad gets fouled, a petition against Ramos.

Racial abuse? Oh, speaking in Portuguese, Running kids over in cars?

The list goes on ...

Anything to do with Everton and we get slammed.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
134 Posted 03/06/2018 at 21:56:42
And courtesy of YouTube:

The Fix (Part 1 of 4):

The Fix (Part 2 of 4):

The Fix (Part 3 of 4):

The Fix (Part 4 of 4):

Eric Paul
135 Posted 03/06/2018 at 22:45:20
David Barks,

I can't remember Eric Cantona getting a custodial sentence for leaving the field of play and attacking a fan when the worst-case scenario did come to fruition. The only difference was he wasn't carrying a child, but he went into an area where children were sitting.

Double fucking standards! How many hooray Henry's were arrested and jailed at Ascot and Goodwood during the riots amongst families? Fuckin none probably...

Paul Smith
136 Posted 03/06/2018 at 22:54:02
The Police bragging about charges leading to a criminal record & impacting on their ability to provide for their children is dispicable.

No wonder people dislike them so much. Not a clue, honestly!

Alan J Thompson
138 Posted 04/06/2018 at 05:42:04
Chris (#128); I wouldn't say I was well versed in the law but couldn't the Police have just issued a warning without it making Court and did they really have to release their opinion after the matter had been heard?
Chris Gould
139 Posted 04/06/2018 at 07:58:28
Alan, many incidents at football matches can and are dealt with by fines and bans. This incident was unusual and shocking to many people. The FA, Uefa, and Fifa will have been watching closely and this guy was always going to be made an example of.

Players need to feel safe, and a strong message needed to be sent that under no circumstances will an attack/attempted attack on a player be tolerated.

The police press release was also a clear message designed to prevent it happening again. It's not bragging as someone else suggested. It's a clear message that there will be serious consequences to this type of behaviour. Due to the press/social media attention, it was always going to be dealt with like this.

Peter Warren
141 Posted 04/06/2018 at 08:21:46
The guy was a lunatic.

Also from a financial point of view you can't have fans attacking players in a billion pound industry – reality is the need to protect the brand (even if was Europa League as opposed to Champions League or Premier League).

Paul Smith
142 Posted 04/06/2018 at 08:59:46
Peter do you work for Uefa?

Players attack players regularly — they don't go to jail. What about Tosun the other night, if he'd of made it to the crowd, what might have happened?

The Cantona incident?

For me, a jail sentence was an absurdity considering the corruption that goes on at the top echelons of the game.

Peter Warren
143 Posted 04/06/2018 at 09:14:41
Paul, I don't know but punching a player whilst holding a toddler for no reason other than being frustrated at how shit we are is not on in my book and I don't consider an 8 week sentence OTT. I consider the guy a lunatic like I said – I've never seen an incident like that at the match.
Peter Warren
144 Posted 04/06/2018 at 09:16:33
Paul – I'm unsure why you use an analysis of players fighting each other to justify the attack or argue that a custodial sentence of 8 weeks was wrong in this incident?
Chris Gould
145 Posted 04/06/2018 at 09:18:54
Paul, players attacking each other is very different from fans attacking players. For the reasons that Peter has mentioned, and also because greater security measures would need to be put in place in all stadiums if players started to feel unsafe. It would certainly mean that fans would not be able to sit so close to the pitch.

West Ham have come under sharp focus because of their appalling security at The London Stadium. Another incident could have seen them playing games behind closed doors.
Players' safety is paramount.

Brent Stephens
146 Posted 04/06/2018 at 10:07:26
Can’t remember any player holding a child when they lashed out at anybody during a game. That’s the difference. Getting into an argument while holding a child. Please don’t tell me any of us would do that.
Alan J Thompson
147 Posted 04/06/2018 at 12:56:27
Well if they do attack each other they could end up with ribs with multiple breaks and a collapsed lung. I do have a problem with an example having to be made of the fan alone but to include any others might have seen a more widespread discussion on the matter.
Chris Gould
148 Posted 04/06/2018 at 13:59:25
Alan, giving this guy a fine or warning would have set a dangerous precedent. Any angry fan could take a swing at a player and then argue that his behaviour only warrants the same punishment. The media would have had a frenzy if he'd got off easy, and yobs would be licking their lips at the thought of lumping half-arsed players in exchange for a slapped wrist.

Anyone with half a brain would have moved away from such a melee when holding a child. This idiot moved forward, putting the kid in danger, so he could throw wild punches at someone he had never met and posed him no threat.

Alan J Thompson
149 Posted 05/06/2018 at 05:03:53
Chris, I don't disagree that the bloke was an idiot for doing what he did and for putting his child in harm's way. However, this does not change my dislike for examples being made of individuals, it is selective and that is not how I think the law should be administered.

The law itself should be the deterrent – not the individual's sentence which should be dependent upon the punishment parameters within the legislation and the circumstances of the case as presented, the situation and the individual's record of misdemeanours with the aim of prevention through education and enlightenment, taking into account the probability of same.

I do wonder, though, how an individual carrying a child was able to scale his way onto the pitch avoiding crowd control measures.

Alan J Thompson
150 Posted 05/06/2018 at 16:24:09
Oh, and people have been running onto the pitch since policemen used to ride white horses.

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