Man who lunged at police 'dressed as knights templar' among football fans banned

The incidents happened at Bristol matches during the 2021/22 season Credit: PA Images

Two men have been jailed and six other have been banned from attending football matches after series of incidents at Bristol games.

Avon and Somerset Police say banning orders totalling 30 years have been handed out to six fans following incidents during the 2021/22 season. Two of them also received a prison sentence.

One of the offenders stormed onto the pitch dressed as a knights templar before lunging at police during a Bristol Rovers game, while another kicked a Swindon Town fan to the ground.

The bans will prevent them from attending any match in the UK or going to certain areas near football stadiums on match days. They must also surrender their passports ahead of England international matches outside UK.

Inspector Mark Nicholson said: “Threatening behaviour and actions that could potentially endanger public safety will not be tolerated.

“Thousands of football fans enjoy games across Avon and Somerset without issue every season. I am sure they will welcome the bans handed down by the courts to these six individuals who have acted irresponsibly.

“We will continue to proactively work with football clubs so match days remain an occasion all fans can enjoy and safely attend.”

The incidents took place at several matches during the 2021/22 season:

Bristol Rovers v Swindon Town – 2 October 2021

A 27-year-old man was jailed for 10 weeks at Bristol Magistrates Court for his involvement in pre-match disorder in Gloucester Road.

William Dinham-Mead, of Badminton Road in Coalpit Heath, pleaded guilty to a public order offence and was also handed a six-year football banning order, after a Swindon Town fan was kicked on the ground.

A second man from Kingswood, who was 17 at the time of the incident, admitted the same charge. He received a five-year football banning order and a 12-month community order, which includes 220 hours of unpaid work.

Bristol City v Derby County – 4 December 2021

A 24-year-old man from Derby, who police have not named, was sentenced for running the length of the field to try to incite home fans at Ashton Gate. He received a three-year football banning order and will need to pay £439.

Bristol City v Middlesbrough – 19 February 2022

A man caught trying to ignite a smoke device among home supporters after Bristol City scored has received a three-year football banning order.

Spencer Pettifor, 31, of Stiling Close in Highbridge, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a pyrotechnic. He will have to carry out 80 hours’ unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order and must pay a total of £180 in costs and a fine.

  • Bristol Rovers v Forest Green Rovers – 23 April 2022

Two men appeared before Bristol Magistrates Court on Thursday 9 June and pleaded guilty to one public order charge regarding threatening behaviour and a second for pitch incursion while dressed as knights templars following the 0-0 draw at The Memorial Stadium.

James Mallett, of Moravian Road in Kingswood, was jailed for 10 weeks and ordered to pay a total of £128 in costs and fine.

The 36-year-old lunged at police and he received a 10-year football banning order after magistrates heard he had previously had a six-year ban.

An 18-month community order was handed to Daniel Athey, of Church Road in Kingswood, in addition to a three-year football banning order. The 39-year-old also will be required to carry out 220 hours’ community service and pay costs and a fine totalling £280.

Two other men received football banning orders, while enquiries are ongoing into a number of other offences committed that day.