Tag Archives: disorderly conduct

Football law solicitors fight banning order

For many a day trip to see a football match with friends is about more than the match itself.  The journey, banter, songs, food and drink are as important as the match itself in making the day memorable.  Sometimes, however, a combination of these factors can lead to our clients coming to the attention of the police.  This is where our football law solicitors can help.

football law solicitors
Chesterfield crime solicitor Kevin Tomlinson

However just because you are guilty of a crime on a day when you attended a football match does not mean that it is a football related offence.  Such an argument might mean that you can avoid a football banning order with the help of our football law solicitors.

The order would ban you from attending all football matches in the UK for a minimum period of three years so their effects are far reaching.

Experienced Chesterfield crime solicitor Kevin Tomlinson recently represented a grateful client in opposing such an order being made.

 The background to the Allegation

The relevant football match was West Bromwich Albion against Leeds United.  The game ended with a convincing win for the home team.

Our client was later on a train travelling from Birmingham to Derby coming home from the game.  A complaint was made that he was engaging in disorderly conduct.  Police officers became involved and he was described as being drunk and shouting and swearing.  It amounted to an offence contrary to Section 5 Public Order Act 1986.

football law solicitors

Receipt of a postal requisition

The police did not arrest our client at the time but later tried to arrange a voluntary interview but our client chose not to cooperate.  As a result, he simply received a postal requisition notifying him of a court date.

The case was to be heard at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court and he instructed Kevin, a keen football fan himself, to assist.

Guilty plea at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court

Kevin’s client accepted that he was guilty of the offence.  As a result, in order to take advantage of the credit available, he pleaded guilty.  Mitigation was put forward to persuade the Magistrates’ to impose a conditional discharge.  This meant that our client would only be punished if he committed a fresh offence within the next 12 months.

Opposition to a football banning order

football law solicitorsIn addition to the criminal charge the police, through the prosecution, made an application for a football banning order.   You can read more about the circumstances in which such application can be made here.

In summary, if the application was successful, Kevin’s client would not have been able to attend any FA football match in the UK for three years.  As a result, it is important to instruct expert football law solicitors contest any application.

In order to impose a football banning Order it must be shown that the criminal offence was “football related.”  Kevin studied the evidence in the case closely and applied the case law to the circumstances of the case.

He was able to successfully argue that there was no link between the offence his client had pleaded guilty to and the football match his client had been to.  As the court agreed with his argument no order was made.  Kevin’s client was delighted and could continue to attend football matches without restriction.

Contact one of our football law solicitors

If you are arrested or know that the police wish to speak to you about a football related offence then make sure you insist on your right to free and independent legal advice.

The advantages of such early advice legal advice can be found here.

If you have already been interviewed or face court proceedings we can still make a real difference to the outcome of your case.

Legal aid may well be available to fund your defence at court.

We have offices across the East Midlands and will happily travel across the country to provide representation for all football related offences.

VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively you can contact us using the form below.



Police evidence of disorderly conduct rejected leading to not guilty verdict

disorderly conduct
Newark criminal advocate Nikki Carlisle

Newark criminal advocate Nikki Carlisle was instructed to defend an allegation of disorderly conduct before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.  The trial was listed before a district judge.

Police officers change evidence in disorderly conduct trial

Two police officers gave evidence on behalf of the prosecution.  In their original witness statements they had both described Niki’s client as shouting and swearing in the street.  They described a number of other members of the public being present.  Their view was that his behaviour would have upset these people.  The officers went further to state that they were also distressed by the behaviour because he had been verbally abusive to them.

In a somewhat curious development, when the first officer came to give evidence he was unable to remember anything said or done by Nikki’s client.  This surprising turn put Nikki’s client in a much better position.

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The second police officer, however, departed from his statement by saying that the behaviour was far worse than originally described.  He stated that our client had been aggressive and that he had been subject to “the worst verbal abuse that he had ever received in his life”.

The officer went on to give examples of the kind of the things our client had said to him.  Nikki was able to play the bodycam footage that had been provided to us during disclosure.  This showed that the defendant was not saying any of the things the officer had spoken of in evidence.

Bodycam footage undermines police evidence

Instead, it showed the second officer being sarcastic towards our client, goading him and then using what was clearly excessive force to arrest him.  This included spraying him in the face with CS gas.

Despite this clear evidence, the officer tried to explain the difficulties away.  He maintained that the abuse must simply not have been picked up by the body worn camera microphone.  He claimed that our client had been resisting arrest and that he was in fear of violence.

Nikki addressed the District Judge in relation to two substantial points:

  • whatever the Judge made of the alleged conduct, he should not infer that members of the public would have felt harassed, alarmed or distressed without evidence of that
  • the only person claiming to have been so affected by the behaviour was the second officer who could not be called a truthful witness.

The District Judge found our client not guilty of disorderly conduct.  The judge went as far as to comment on the unnecessary use of CS gas in this case.  Our client is pursuing a police complaint.

disorderly conduct

Why instruct an criminal defence solicitor?

This case demonstrates a number of reasons why you ought to instruct a solicitor to defend criminal proceedings on your behalf.  Although this was a minor matter when compared to many other offences, it was of great importance to our client.

disorderly conductDespite the nature of the offence we were successful in applying for legal aid funding to ensure his free representation in the Magistrates’ Court.  You can read more about legal aid here.

We were able to ensure that all relevant evidence was disclosed, including the important body worn camera footage.  Some recently publicised problems with disclosure can be found here.

Finally, we will ask questions on your behalf and make arguments based on the law and the facts to the courts.

Whether your case involves disorderly The reasons why you might want to think about instructing us in your criminal case can be found here.

Contact us

We represent clients across the country from our offices in the East Midlands.  You can find the details of your nearest office here.  Alternatively you can use the contact form below.

disorderly conduct