A Huddersfield Town fan who repeatedly punched a group of teenagers has been jailed for 20 weeks and banned from all football for EIGHT years.
Reece McLaren, 21, of Darbyfields, Golcar, admitted carrying out the ‘totally unprovoked’ attack on March 19 last year at Halifax Station.
British Transport Police revealed earlier that day, McLaren had been drinking with a group of around 10 fellow Town fans in Leeds city centre prior to their team’s fixture against Leeds United.
But despite an official ‘dispersal’ warning to leave the area due to the group’s behaviour, they travelled to Halifax and continued drinking near the station.
He told police he mistakenly believed the teenagers were rival Nantwich fans and began to throw punches at them.
As one of the victims managed to raise the alarm and call police, McLaren and other members of the group jumped onto the tracks and ran off down the line.
He was subsequently arrested a few days later after he was recognised by an officer.
Pc Wayne Mitchell said: “After already being made to leave Leeds city centre due to his behaviour, McLaren continued to drink and then attacked a group of teenagers who were simply minding their own business at the station after watching the match.
“All of which have been left extremely shaken by his unprovoked and unexpected attack on them. Not only is McLaren now behind bars but when he gets out he will be unable to go and watch his team – or any other – for the next eight years. This should act as a reminder to other troublemakers about the potential consequences of their actions,” said Pc Mitchell.
“The vast majority of football fans are well-behaved but sadly, there is a very small minority – like McLaren – who are intent on causing trouble."
McLaren pleaded guilty to affray and was jailed last week at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court.
He was already serving a 32-month sentence for a public order offence committed in Rotherham in 2015 following an English Defence League demonstration.
British Transport Police have urged anyone who finds themselves in an intimidating or frightening situation to not ignore it but report football-related crime or disorder on the rail network by texting BTP on 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.