Terrified pedestrians looked on as football hooligans staged an arranged fight in a quiet Brighton neighbourhood...Yesterday, 12 men were jailed for a total of 19 years ten months for their part in the battle between Brighton and Tottenham supporters. All have also been banned from football grounds for six years.
The quiet streets of Albion Hill and Grove Hill, flanked by blocks of flats, echoed to the sounds of shouting and swearing on Saturday, July 31 2010.
Dozens of people dialled 999 and witnesses filmed the two sides clashing from balconies over-looking the scene.
Twelve people were later arrested and charged. They all admitted violent disorder.
Ryan Richter, prosecuting, told Hove Crown Court: “Members of the public were seen in the street frozen in fear, including a group of pedestrians with baby buggies waiting to cross the road.”
No members of the public were injured but among the brawlers, one man was knocked unconscious, one defendant had his arm broken and another needed hospital treatment after he suffered a gash from a bottle.
Violence raged for up to 15 minutes. The men scattered when police arrived.
Of the 12 who were later charged, some were arrested in Brighton but others had to be identified later by police intelligence officers.
Martin Asli, led the charges by the Tottenham Hotspur group, carrying a baton.
Now 47, of Greenhaven Drive, Thamesmead, London.
THREE AND A HALF YEARS
Kali Hagenstede, 22, currently in prison, can be seen in the mobile phone footage trying to break off a young tree to use as a weapon.
TWO AND A HALF YEARS
Steven Davidson, now 31, of Algers Mead, Loughton, Essex, was seen running up and down the road acting aggressively.
TWO YEARS THREE MONTHS
Dante Lauder-Hawkins, 22, of Exmoor Street, Ladbroke Grove, London, was described as “posturing and goading, remaining somewhat behind the front of the group”.
Steven White, now 45, of Church Street, Edmonton, London, was identified from the mobile phone footage by Tottenham’s police spotters.
Stuart McCullough was described as “the gentleman with a traffic barrier striking out at various people”.
The 22-year-old of Seaton Road, Wick, Littlehampton, has a young child and his partner is currently pregnant.
Matthew Clayton, now 25, was seen running at the Tottenham group.
The plumber, of Highdown Drive, Littlehampton, has eight previous convictions for 11 offences, including possessing smoke grenades on a train.
Jamie Lowe received a text message saying “Aberdeen are coming down and the **** are with them.”
Now 44, of Mile Oak Road, Portslade, he had only one previous conviction and a caution for jumping over a barrier while celebrating an Albion goal against Luton Town.
Matthew Cummins suffered a 3cm gash on his head in the violence.
The 33-year-old, of Wantley Hill Estate, Henfield, was seen confronting Asli and Davidson.
David Prowse, now 34, of Sompting Road, Lancing, confronted Asli in the exchanges.
Harvey Siney, now 19, of Margery Road, Hove, swapped punches with Asli and Davidson.
Benjamin Goodwin described the fight as “pretty messy” in a text message afterwards.
The 22-year-old, of Foredown Drive, Portslade, is an account manager at an energy company and was previously of good character.
Albion’s match that day did not even involve Tottenham Hotspur.
Brighton and Hove Albion were playing Aberdeen in a pre-season friendly. The Scottish side’s fans had arranged for Tottenham Hotspur followers to come to the city in their stead.
The clubs’ supporters have a “reciprocal agreement” under which Aberdeen is supported if it plays in southern England, out of range of its own fanbase.
When the sides clashed in Albion Hill and Grove Hill, at about 4.20pm Sussex Police received 27 999 calls.
Several of the Tottenham Hotspur thugs were already subject to football banning orders.
Some had been involved in major hooliganism cases, involving Chelsea, Charlton, Arsenal and West Ham fans.
Yesterday Judge Rennie gave each of the defendants a six-year football banning order, except Lauder-Hawkins and Hagenstede who were slapped with similar orders last year.
Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett said: “I hope the sentences will deter others who think its 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."
Richard Hebberd, head of operations at Brighton and Hove Albion, said: "Neither group had any real interest in the football match taking place a few miles away.
"We welcome the verdict and sentences handed down. The majority of our supporters are a credit to the club, and it is wrong for them to see their reputation tarnished by the actions of a handful of individuals.”
Read more details about the trial, convictions and events of July 31, 2010 in the two-page special report inside today's Argus.
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