Keeping up with Cardiff

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Euro 2016: England fans jailed, banned from France

first_imgTwo England fans have been jailed and banned from France after appearing in a Marseille court charged in connection with the weekend violence.Alexander Booth and Ian Hepworth were the first fans to be dealt with after the widespread trouble in the French city.It left another England fan with severe head injuries and Euro 2016 organiser Uefa threatening to ban England and Russia if there is any repeat of the violence.Booth, 20, from Huddersfield, was jailed for two months for throwing a bottle at police and banned from France for two years.Hepworth, 41, a psychiatric nurse from Sheffield, was given a three-month sentence for the same offence and the same ban. Speaking after the court hearing, Booth’s father insisted his son was innocent.Chris Booth said: “It’s the lowest of the low. I feel angry, furious, let down.”Along with my brother we came across to go to the fanzones. We got the train here from our campsite.”It started to get rowdy in the Old Port. We had been tear gassed a few times. We moved back to get out the way of things.”This is when he is supposed to have thrown the plastic glass but my brother said there’s no way he threw it. “All I can think is they said to him if you admit to this you will get out.”He’s been in a solitary cell for 48 hours, still in the same clothes. I have not been able to speak to him or see him.”I think he is being made a scapegoat of. We are all very respectable people.”I have witnessed so much violence and hooliganism during these two days. “Alex did get angry and gobby after he was pepper sprayed but we were walking to the stadium and a police officer pointed at him and he was taken off.”Electrician Alex Shephard, 24, who is pals with the youngster, revealed the cook had been looking forward to the tournament.He told “It’s all he’s been going on about. It’s his thing, he loves it.”He’s a sound lad, it’s a bit shocking that he’d do that. “I’ve never seen him fighting. He’s a happy lad. He’s always up for a good time, he’s quite well liked.“I think two months is a bit excessive. I don’t see that much damage.“It sounds to me more like they’ve arrested him to prove a point and to make the other fans calm down a bit.“I didn’t expect him to have got into jail. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen fans throwing worse than plastic bottles.“I’m a bit shocked really, but if he’s done wrong and they’ve got evidence there’s not much he can do really. “A lot of people will feel it’s a bit harsh on him.”When asked what he will say to his friend when he sees him next, Alex said: “I’ll say what were you doing you idiot, then I’ll be like glad you’ve made it out okay.”Lottie Scarborough, 20, who works with Alex at a pub in Holmfirth, added that she was “gobsmacked” and that the behaviour was “not like him at all”.She said: “I wouldn’t see him ever do that. I don’t believe he did do it. “I’d have to talk to him in person when he comes back to get his side.“I just thought it was stupid people doing the disorder, just idiots. I’m still so shocked.”Booth was still wearing his England shirt when he appeared in court.He said: “I have never had problems with the police, I respect the police very much. I am hard working.”The prosecutor had asked the judge to jail him for two months as that would mean the tournament would have finished by the time he was released.Booth said: “I would like to say sorry to the police and to the people and city of Marseille. This is not like me. I’m not a violent person.”I love my job and my family, I’ve never been involved in football hooliganism.”I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”Hepworth, from Sheffield, was accused of throwing a bottle at the police then walking to pick up a second bottle.The 41-year-old said he could not remember the incident.The prosecutor had asked for him to be jailed for three months, saying he knew what he was doing because he ran away afterwards.It comes after French police arrested 21 England fans for violent behaviour during the tournament – but NO Russians.Those held include a 16-year-old boy charged over throwing bottles.DID YOU KNOW?The Joy Sports ‘Inside Euro 2016’ show started on Monday evening, reviewing the action at the tournament so far with highlights from the exciting games. It’s sponsored by DSTV and Pepsi. Airs Monday and Tuesday on the Joy News channel at 6:30pm.Watch episode 1 below. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more