1. ITV Report

Tranmere Rovers fan banned for 10 years for telling police he would 'rip their heads off'

Disgraced fan: David Holt Photo: Picture: British Transport Police

A Tranmere Rovers fan, who threatened a number of police officers, telling them he would “rip their heads off” and “destroy” them, has been jailed for 18 weeks and banned from attending all football for 10 years.

David Ross, of Dickens Close, Prenton, appeared before Shrewsbury Magistrates on October 1, having pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words and behaviour, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

The court heard Ross, aged 40, had been drinking throughout the day after travelling to Shrewsbury on Saturday August 25 - the day Shrewsbury Town played Tranmere Rovers.

British Transport Police officers were on patrol at Shrewsbury railway station awaiting the return of the travelling Tranmere fans following the match which had kicked off at 3pm.

At around 5pm, officers were made aware of about 15 Tranmere fans that were drinking in a public house near to the railway station. They were described as drunk and noisy and it transpired none had actually attended the match.

At about 5.10pm, a number of this group started making their way onto the railway station forecourt to catch their train home.

Officers were speaking to one of the men in the group to establish the intentions of the group and direct them to the correct train. While officers were speaking with him, other members of the group became involved and a BTP officer had cause to speak with one man who immediately became obstructive.

Due to his behaviour, other officers went to monitor the situation which began to deteriorate.

Ross then became involved in the incident. He was drunk and his manner was instantly extremely threatening as he began swearing at the officers and acting aggressively towards them.

He told one officer he would bite his face off, while yelling at others “I’ll destroy you” and telling another “I’ll rip your head off”.

Action at Tranmere Rovers Credit: Press Association

Other officers had to help detain Ross using leg restraints before he was taken to custody where he assaulted an officer and was further arrested for that offence.

In interview when sober, Ross admitted he could not remember events due to being intoxicated but when shown CCTV footage, he described his own behaviour as a “drunken mess”.

At court he was jailed for 18 weeks and made subject of a 10-year football banning order.

PC Kirk Smith, of BTP, said: “The stringent conditions of the football banning order show just how seriously the courts, and the wider criminal justice system, view this type of behaviour.

“We do not apply for banning order lightly and do not want to alienate football fans, as the vast majority are well-behaved and a credit to their clubs.

“Sadly, as in this case, some people are prepared to step out of line and seem intent on causing problems.

"When this happens BTP will not hesitate to step in and take action against those who cause problems before, during or after football matches.”