|Twelve Coventry City fans were
sentenced yesterday after pleading guilty to causing disorder at
The twelve men, described as the 'hard core' of a group known
locally as The Legion, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to
committing affray or public order offences before or after various
Coventry City games during the last three months of 2000.
At Coventry Crown Court yesterday nine of the men received jail
sentences, the longest being for 12 months. The three others were
given 200 hours of community punishment. One of the jail sentences
was suspended for a year.
Eleven of the men were were banned from all football games in
Britain and abroad for up to six years.
The incidents took place before and after Coventry's home matches
against Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City in
All the men are from Coventry and Rugby.
West Midlands Police, as part of their Operation Freetime,
studied over 150 hours of video footage to pinpoint the
Judge Patrick Eccles presiding in the case was shown footage
taken by the police after the game against Manchester United on 4
November 2000. An incident flared up outside the Beer Engine pub in
Far Gosford Street as Manchester United fans were being escorted
back to the railway station by police.
COVENTRY CITY v
MANCHESTER UNITED : 4 November 2000
In a separate development West Midlands Police, working in
conjunction with Hampshire Police, have launched a poster campaign
to help them catch 35 suspected football hooligans.
This relates to a violent confrontation at a match between
Coventry City and Portsmouth on 22 September 2001.
A number of people were arrested and charged with violent
disorder at the time, but many others were not caught.
Police have therefore launched Operation Rama in a bid to track
down the suspected trouble makers. Posters will be appearing around
Coventry and Portsmouth showing photos of the men the police would
like to question.
The 35 men police are looking for are believed to come from
Southampton, the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth as well as from the