Clarets fan’s three-year ban for pushing undercover steward

A Burnley fan has been given a football banning order for three years after admitting pushing a security guard in the face.
Burnley Magistrates' Court.Burnley Magistrates' Court.
Burnley Magistrates' Court.

Keith Sprigg (49) of Nairne Street, Burnley, was asked to leave Turf Moor at half-time of Burnley Football Club’s Championship match against Derby County on Saturday, March 1st, for “persistently swearing in front of children.”

Burnley magistrates heard how undercover security guard Mr Elliott Hindle was sat in front of Sprigg during the match.

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Mr Stephen Parker (prosecuting) said: “Mr Hindle was on the match to look out for someone, not this defendant, who was suspected of breaching a banning order.

“The pair were sat in the Jimmy McIlroy Stand where Mr Hindle heard the defendant constantly using foul and abusive language in an area where there were lots of children.

“At half-time he asked the stewards to remove the defendant who was also clearly drunk. When he discovered that Mr Hindle had reported him to the stewards he pushed him in the face causing him to bang his head on a metal railing.”

Miss Rachel Griffiths (defending) said that her client was not a regular attender at Burnley games and had only gone to the match with his son, who was on leave from Afghanistan.

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She added: “This was a one-off attendance. My client says he was caught up in the atmosphere and is extremely sorry for his actions.”

The magistrates also fined Sprigg £85, ordered him to pay costs of £85, a victim surcharge of £20 and compensation of £50.