Boro fan who disrupted Hillsborough minutes' silence at Turf Moor avoids ban (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Boro fan who disrupted Hillsborough minutes' silence at Turf Moor avoids ban
A FOOTBALL fan who disrupted the minutes' silence at Turf Moor in memory of the Hillsborough disaster has been slammed by police.
But Stephen Bentley, 38, has escaped a football banning order after being convicted of being drunk at the April 12 Championship fixture between Burnley and Middlesbrough.
The Boro fan was even set upon by his fellow supporters in the David Fishwick Stand at the ground and he had to be led away by stewards.
Bentley, of Maddren Way, Middlesbrough, admitted being drunk at designated sporting fixture and was fined £85 with £85 court costs.
Magistrates chairman Wilcox-Wood said: “You must be good football fan to come all the way from Middlesbrough and not see any of the match.”
But the Bench declined to make a football banning order against Bentley on the grounds it would be ‘disproportionate’ and he was lightly-convicted in the past.
Speaking after the case, Insp Phillip Hutchinson of Burnley Police said: “Bentley’s actions were highly disrespectful during what should have been a time of quiet reflection by football fans in memory of fellow football fans.
“It should be said that Bentley’s actions are in no way representative of football fans, as shown by the fact Bentley’s fellow Middlesbrough fans remonstrated with him immediately and alerted the club’s stewards to his actions.
“Bentley’s aggressive behaviour towards both club stewards and police officers was also highly unacceptable, and we welcome the court’s decision to fine him.”
Fellow Boro fan Liam Campbell, 27, of Fawcus Court, Redcar, also admitted using threatening behaviour for being overly-aggressive during a stand-off between chanting Burnley and away fans before the game on Belvedere Road.
But Laura Heywood, defending, said her client had been coming to the aid of a fellow supporter who had fallen to the ground during the incident, though he accepted his behaviour could have been seen as aggressive.
Campbell was fined £75 with £85 costs and no banning order was similarly imposed.