Brighton and Hove fan banned from matches after punching steward

A football fan has been given a banning order after punching a steward at the Amex Community Stadium.

Connor Gill became abusive when asked to sit down at the Brighton and Hove Albion fixture against Crystal Palace on January 14 this year.

Stewards asked to see his match ticket and he refused, before trying to exit the stadium but was stopped by a steward.

Gill then punched the steward twice in the face before running from the concourse, but he was then detained by police officers.

In custody, officers found the 22-year-old plumber in possession of a bag of cocaine.

Gill, of Waverley Crescent, Brighton, appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on May 12 where he admitted assault and possession of a class A drug.

He was sentenced to complete 40 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay a £96 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

The court also imposed a three-year Football Banning Order which prohibits him from attending any football matches held in England and Wales.

In addition to the sentence handed down by the court, Brighton and Hove Albion have banned him indefinitely from their matches.

Following the case, Sussex Police’s dedicated football officer PC Darren Balkham said: “Gill admitted being drunk when the incident happened and was also in possession of a class A drug.

“He carried out a nasty assault on match day staff after being abusive to them, then tried to run away to avoid the consequences.

“While we appreciate emotions can run high during football fixtures, there is no place for this kind of violence in our beautiful game.

“This case demonstrates that we will prosecute when fans behaviour crosses the line.” 

A club spokesperson for Brighton and Hove Albion said: “We welcome the verdict and thank Sussex Police and the court for their support in prosecuting the offender. This was an extremely serious offence, and we take assault of our staff very seriously. “We have always made very clear that we have a zero tolerance policy towards the verbal or physical abuse or assault of the club’s staff, and that we will take very strong action against anyone responsible for such behaviour."So in addition to the punishment handed down by the court, he will also face an indefinite ban from all home and away Brighton & Hove Albion fixtures. “Thankfully, the member of our staff who was assaulted was not seriously injured and has made a full recovery.”