A PAIR of football hooligans from Littlehampton have been jailed for their involvement in a pre-arranged fight, in Brighton, police have said.
Stuart McCullough, 22, of Seaton Road, Wick, and Matthew Clayton, 25, of Highdown Drive, Littlehampton, were among 12 so-called ‘football fans’ who were sentenced yesterday, during a trial at Hove Crown Court.
Police have said that the fight spilled out into a street in Brighton, on July 13, 2010, following a pre-season friendly football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Aberdeen.
The brawl took place between a group of football fans from Brighton and a band of supporters from Tottenham Hotspur, with innocent onlookers recording the fight on their phones.
Clayton, a plumber in the Littlehampton area, received a 15-month sentence for his role in the chaos, after admitting to violent disorder.
Soon-to-be father of two McCollough, was also given a 15-month sentence after pleading guilty to violent disorder. McCullough was ordered to serve another nine months consecutively for wounding a man with a chair during argument at The Crown pub, in High Street, Littlehampton.
Ten other men, from Lancing, Henfield, Portslade, Brighton, Hove, Essex and London were sent to prison for a total of more than 16 years, between them.
All received a six-year football banning order, which bars them from any football matches in the UK.
The hooligans are also banned from going in any pubs within a mile of the American Express Community Stadium, Lewes railway station or Brighton station for four hours before and six hours after kick-off when home games are played in the city.
Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett said: “We are pleased that the sentences they received reflect the seriousness of this incident.
“Football is about the enjoyment of a sport not about violent disorder. I am very grateful for the support the communities, Brighton and Hove Albion and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have provided to bring these people to justice.
“I hope the sentences will deter others who think it’s acceptable to act in a similar way. Most people enjoy football and their good behaviour should not be marred by a mindless minority who harm and scare others.”
A CPS spokeswoman said: “We would like to pay tribute to the quick thinking and swift action of the members of the local community who through various means recorded the incident without which we wouldn’t have been able to successfully prosecute. This is a case of the CPS and police working with the help of the local community to identify and prosecute football risk supporters.”