A Yeovil Town supporter has been issued with a Football Banning Order after he was found guilty of an offence committed during a League Two match in December 2018. Nathan Sherfield, who is 29 years old, was found guilty at Exeter Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 4th June (yesterday) of using threatening words or behaviour inside a football ground, during the club's match against Exeter City at St James Park on Boxing Day.
Sherfield, identified as from Monks Ford in Wookey, was arrested during the match with the Court also hearing that he directed homophobic abuse towards unnamed person(s) in the ground. According to the Exeter Express and Echo the Court agreed that his actions 'risked contributing to violence and disorder'. As a result, in addition to the criminal offence, Devon and Cornwall Police successfully applied for a Three Year Football Banning Order. As a result, Sherfield must not:
1. Attend any football matches
2. Enter a town or city where England are playing
3. Go within two miles of Yeovil Town FC on match days
4. Change address without informing the Football Banning Orders Authority
If he breaches any of the above conditions during the Three Year period, that will also be deemed to be a criminal offence, and thus he would return to Court for a second hearing.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge. He was fined a total of £350, which included a basic fine of £170, with a surcharge on top due to the homophobic nature of the language used, which classified it as a hate crime. On top of the fine, he was also told to pay Court Costs and a surcharge of £120.
This is the first Football Banning Order associated with Yeovil Town FC since January 2014, when a spectator invaded the pitch after the final whistle in the January 2014 FA Cup Third Round match against Leyton Orient - that ban has since been fully served, with the club's supporters having had zero in progress Banning Orders up until this point.
Generally speaking, the club have had one of the lowest arrest records in the top five divisions. Government Home Office data showed zero arrests during the 2017-18 season, with only two arrests across the three seasons between 2015 and 2018. One of those was a spectator entering the field of play, whilst another was for an alleged pyrotechnics offence where our understanding is the defendant was found not guilty.
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