A Swansea City fan who brandished a “smoke bomb” in the crowd at Turf Moor has been spared a football banning order.
Burnley magistrates heard how Mark Stevens (26), a supporter of his team for more than two decades, had been chanting while waving the flare around for several seconds during the Premier League match at the stadium on February 28th.
The hearing was told Stevens was arrested when taken to the police by a steward. He told officers his friend had lit the “smoke bomb,” had dropped it at the defendant’s feet and he had picked it up and held it before dropping it himself.
Stevens, of Shirley Road, Southampton, admitted possessing a firework while in an area from which the event could be viewed, at a time during the period of a designated sporting event. He was fined £300, with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge. The offence carries a sentence of up to three months in jail.
The defendant had no previous convictions, but had a caution for battery from October 2012, following a game between Swansea City and Manchester City.
Prosecutor Mr Scott Ainge told the Burnley bench smoke was seen coming from the middle of where 1,200 away supporters were sitting.
Mrs Joanne Haselden (defending) said he has been fully compliant and honest with police.
Mrs Haselden said the defendant, an operations shift manager for a distribution company, had been a Swansea supporter since he was five years old.
She added: “It was quite a costly mistake for him. He was released from custody quite late at night, had missed the coach and had to pay £200 for a taxi to get back home from Burnley.”
The magistrates told Stevens they were not making a banning order as they believed it was a momentary lapse in self- discipline, he had not taken the firework to the ground and he didn’t light it.