Football yobs sent down for violence

PUBLISHED: 11:17 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 09:59 12 August 2010

A GANG of hooligans who launched a planned, coordinated and premeditated ambush

A GANG of hooligans who launched a 'planned, coordinated and premeditated ambush' on rival supporters have been jailed for a total of 18 years and two months and banned from any football matches in England and Wales.

More than 40 thugs, believed to be Crystal Palace supporters, boarded the train at Sydenham Railway Station intent on ambushing their bitter south London rivals.

Women, children and pensioners were caught up in the violence as the yobs went on the rampage shortly before the Palace versus Charlton clash at Selhurst Park on September 1 last year.

Passengers were kicked, punched and abused while one 24-year-old Charlton fan suffered a broken nose.

Earlier in statement witness, Polly Dooley said: "This group of men didn't care who they hurt.

"They acted like animals and their behaviour was unacceptable."

Leigh Bevis, 22, from Croydon; John De Bono, 20, of Riverside Court, High Street, St Mary's Cray; Stephen Edwards, 40, from Clapham; Tommy Patience, 19, of Salcot Crescent, New Addington; Danny Lehane, 21, from South Norwood; Nicholas McGinty, 24, from Lewisham; Harvey Neenan, 44, of Abbotts Park, Tulse Hill; Dominic Goodridge, 32, of North Downs Road, New Addington, and a 16-year-old from Purley, all admitted violent disorder.

Judge Stephen Robbins told the thugs: "This was sickening behaviour, thuggery and organised violence on a train with members of the public including children who were visibly distressed."

Neenan and Goodridge, both of whom have previous convictions connected to football violence, were jailed for 40 months and given ten year football banning orders.

Lehane, Bevis and civil engineering student De Bono were all sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment and given ten year football banning orders.

Patience and Edwards who were not known 'risk supporters' before the train attack, were jailed for two years and banned from football for six years.

The 16 year-old was told he would not be sent to prison because of his age and was given a two year community rehabilitation order and told to complete 150 hours unpaid work.

The football banning orders mean the yobs are forbidden from attending any football match in England and Wales and banned from travelling on trains on any day where England or Crystal Palace Football Club are playing a match.

They are also banned from entering within 2,000m of any stadium where Crystal Palace are playing, whether at home or away.

The defendants are also banned from entering Croydon pubs when Crystal Palace are playing at home.

After sentencing Charlton Athletic Football Club Operations Director Mick Everett said: "This mindless, violent, and unprovoked attack on our supporters and also members of the travelling public was a despicable and cowardly act.

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