A football fan from Sittingbourne who invaded the pitch during a Gillingham match has been given a three-year Football Banning Order.

Thomas Hill, 33, ran onto the field of play during the second half of a League One fixture against Oxford United on Saturday 29 January 2022.

He entered the pitch between a gap in the advertising stands after Gillingham had scored in the 62nd minute of the match at Priestfield Stadium before being detained by club stewards and removed from the ground.

A Kent Police investigation was carried out and Hill was later charged with entering the playing area of a designated football match, which is a criminal offence under the Football Offences Act.

Hill, of Pearl Walk, Sittingbourne, pleaded guilty when he appeared before Medway magistrates on Tuesday 21 June and was ordered to pay a £220 fine and £85 in court costs. He is also now banned from attending any football match in the UK for the next three years.

Safety

Inspector Adam Duke of Kent Police said: ‘Football Banning Orders were introduced in the late 1980s to help improve safety at matches, and they remain an important power at our disposal despite there being far fewer incidents at matches today than there were back then.

‘There is absolutely no reason why someone should run onto the pitch during a game, and it is important spectators realise that it is a criminal offence that can have serious consequences for them if they end up with a criminal conviction. It can also sometimes result in sanctions being taken against the club they claim to support.’

By Ed

©2022 Hawkinge Gazette       -       Hawkinge Gazette is not responsible for the content of external sites