Cobblers fans jailed after glass was thrown at Coventry fan in away-game brawl

Cobblers fans have been jailed after a brawl at the RAOB Club in Coventry.
Cobblers fans have been jailed after a brawl at the RAOB Club in Coventry.

Twelve men have been jailed after a fight broke out between Northampton Town and Coventry fans and a glass was thrown into a supporter's face.

They were among a total of 14 defendants to appear at Warwick Crown Court to be sentenced following the incident outside the RAOB Club in Foleshill Road, Coventry, in August 2016.

Two Northampton Town supporters have been banned from attending football matches following the sentencing.

Two Northampton Town supporters have been banned from attending football matches following the sentencing.

Nine City fans and two Northampton Town supporters had pleaded guilty to affray, with the other two, Michael McEnery and Nathaniel Simon, admitting a less serious public order offence.

One of the Northampton men, Jake Marriott, was found guilty after a trial of wounding Coventry supporter Roger Marsh by throwing a glass in his face, but cleared of doing so with intent, and Jamie Markie was found guilty of affray.

Prosecutor Daniel Oscroft said: “The case involves a large-scale public disorder between two groups of football fans near the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on the afternoon of the 27th of August 2016.

“It was recorded by a number of CCTV cameras outside the RAOB Social Club in Foleshill Road.”

There was a confrontation between a large group of Coventry City fans and about half a dozen Northampton Town fans on the driveway at the side of the club leading to the car park.

The Northampton defendants had turned up looking for a clash, knowing where to go following and exchange of Instagram messages between Markie and Jack King, who had responded that he could ‘get together six people for a fight.’

Words were exchanged between the two groups, and club steward Joanna Forward stood between them to try to keep them apart.

But the City group, who had been drinking in the club, began to follow as the Northampton defendants made their way back towards Foleshill Road, and there was a brief scuffle.

“It is very much Marriott’s act of wickedness that then sparked the violence," said Mr Osecroft. He threw a glass into Mr Marsh’s face from a distance of no more than three feet, straight into his face.

“That sparks the violence which ensues, with punches, kicking and kicking on the ground.”

Mr Oscroft pointed out there were young children around including Robert Hulm’s four-year-old son, who he was taking to the match, and who was taken from the scene by Mrs Forward as Hulm picked up a glass and threw it one of the Northampton group.

“The Northampton contingent ran from the scene down the road, followed by some of the Coventry group,” added Mr Oscroft, before detailing exactly what each person had done with the aid of a ‘story board’ prepared by Dc Craig Harding.

Sentencing the men in three groups, Judge Anthony Potter told them: “I have to sentence you all for your parts in a large-scale incident of public disorder between groups with different affiliations less than an hour before kick-off on a day when Coventry City were due to play Northampton Town at home.

“It is clear a social club steward stepped in between the two groups in an attempt to calm things down.

“There was time for you to calm down and step away, but none of you chose to do that. Instead, the exchange continued with the prospect that it would erupt in violence.

“It was therefore no surprise when Mr Marriott chose to escalate it by throwing a glass into the face of Mr Marsh.”

Of the Northampton men, Marriott, 20, of Croughton Close, was jailed for 16 months; Markie, 18, of Briar Hill Walk, for 12 months; and Simon (27) of Finedon Road, for four months.

Morgan Bosley, 19, of Floribunda Drive, Northampton, had his sentencing adjourned because his barrister had not attended, and he was granted bail.

In addition, eight-year football banning orders were imposed on Marriott, Simon and Markie, who the court heard was already subject to one imposed last year.

Judge Potter also made King, who had kicked one man and thrown a bottle during the incident, subject to a football banning order for six years.