Two jailed for St George's Square football brawl after Huddersfield Town v Barnsley game

“This ridiculous, mindless violence is damaging to football and damaging to Huddersfield as well. It ruins the face of British football and no-one can be under any illusion that it will be tolerated," said the judge

St George's Square

‘Football hooliganism causes anxiety and fear and it will not be tolerated.’

Those were the words of District Judge Michael Fanning as he sentenced two Huddersfield Town fans to prison for their part in a brawl with Barnsley supporters in St George’s Square on March 1.

The judge sentenced Jonathan Hellings, 25, of James Street, Lee Green, Mirfield, to 16 weeks in prison and imposed a football banning order for eight years. He said that Hellings had a poor record and history of football violence, and that he was in breach of a previous order imposed in 2010 which prohibited him from being within two miles of the John Smith’s Stadium on Huddersfield Town home match days.

He sentenced Liam William Collins, 18, of Towngate, Mirfield, who played a lesser part in the affray, to 10 weeks, with a six-year football banning order.

Supporters of the men were shocked and in tears as the two were led out of the court in handcuffs.

In sentencing, Mr Fanning said that the sentences were deterrents and added: “It would be wrong of me to approach this as a town centre scuffle. It is the ugly face of football hooliganism.

“This ridiculous, mindless violence is damaging to football and damaging to Huddersfield as well. It ruins the face of British football and no-one can be under any illusion that it will be tolerated.”

Both men had previously pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour. Hellings had also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a banning order.

The offence related to the derby match in March between Town and Barnsley when the defendants were among a group of 10 to 15 people who met up outside the station and were later involved in a fight with around five Barnsley supporters.

CCTV footage showed Hellings punch one of the men and Collins, who had been standing on the periphery of the fight, help pull him to the ground.

Defence solicitor, Ben Tighe said that Collins, a college student, had no history of violence and could be clearly seen on the CCTV backing away from the trouble. He had got swept up in the affray, but had not thrown a punch or kick.

Emily Price, defending Hellings, said that he worked as a welder and coached the juniors at Mirfield Cricket Club. He had a partner, six-month-old son and stepsister, all of whom he helped to look after.

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