Sheffield police in pursuit of ‘mindless yobs’

Unruly: Supporters above a sign which fell onto fans sitting below during Wednesday's match against Leeds last October.
Unruly: Supporters above a sign which fell onto fans sitting below during Wednesday's match against Leeds last October.
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TEN football yobs who went on the rampage at an Owls match are being ‘relentlessly pursued’, say police – after another group of unruly fans were banned from games for a total of 15 years for smashing up trams in Sheffield.

Officers are hunting supporters caught on CCTV running on to the pitch and hurling abuse at rival fans during Sheffield Wednesday’s fixture against Leeds United last October.

The match descended into chaos when Owls goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was hit in the face by 21-year-old thug Aaron Cawley, who was jailed for 16 weeks and barred from football matches for six years.

Eight other men have also been dealt with along with Cawley – five have been reported on summons to court and three received conditional cautions.

Superintendent Shaun Morley, from South Yorkshire Police, said 10 Leeds fans were still being traced, adding: “Football supporters and members of the wider public should feel safe on match days, whether that be on public transport, at the ground or going about their daily business.

“Mindless football disorder is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.”

Officers also want people to come forward with information about how a sign fell from the Upper West Stand at Hillsborough, injuring Leeds fans below.

Meanwhile, six men have appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court after admitting criminal damage and public order offences, committed on the day Wednesday played Millwall last August. The fans – all Millwall supporters from London – damaged trams before and after the game, smashing windows as they travelled to Hillsborough and back.

Dane Hills, 20, James McCarthy, 24, Daniel Hughes, 52, Ben Hughes, 17 and Charlie Wells, 19, were all given three-year football banning orders, fined £250 and ordered to pay compensation.

The sixth man, Stephen Porter, 34, will be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court later this month.

“Three years is quite substantial, it sends out a very strong message,” said Supt Morley. We will pursue these individuals, we will identify them and they will be put before the courts if they wish to engage in such behaviour.

“That’s why we want the public to help us stamp out this behaviour and make sure that football matches in South Yorkshire are there for people to enjoy.

“We put all our available resources into relentlessly pursuing anybody who engages in disorder or criminal behaviour. It’s something the public should not have to put up with.”

* Anyone with information about the men in the photos should call 101, quoting incident number 279 of November 19, 2012, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.