Deane yob banned from football matches for punching Wigan fan

Bolton Magistrates Court

Bolton Magistrates Court

First published in The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

A YOB has been banned from going to football grounds for a second time after he was seen by police punching a Wigan fan.

Andrew Bowling was spotted by officers running away from a Wigan fan who was lying on the ground unconscious, Bolton Magistrates Court heard.

Sarah Dobson, prosecuting, said the incident took place on December 15 last year when Bolton Wanderers were playing Wigan Athletic at The DW Stadium.

Bolton magistrates heard opposing fans were taunting and chanting at each other.

One officer, who was facing Wigan fans, took a picture of Bowling, of Hawthorne Street, Deane, running away.

Shortly afterwards a man was seen lying unconscious and video footage showed the officer shouting that Bowling should be arrested.

Ms Dobson told the court that two other officers saw the defendant punch the fan to the ground.

She said that prior to the incident, he had told police he was keeping out of trouble because he had a baby.

He was previously subject to a three-year banning order, which ended last year.

Bowling, aged 29, told magistrates: “I got the last football banning order for being drunk while entering a football match but they could arrest 15,000 people at the Reebok for that.”

He said he could not comment on whether he punched a Wigan fan but said he did not want to give evidence against two police officers.

Joanne Halliday, chairman of the bench, said: “We are going to impose a football banning order for five years.

"This incident in Wigan last year does not indicate that you have learned from what has gone on in the past.”

The ban prevents him from entering certain areas during matches and stops him from attending football grounds as well as going to England matches abroad.

The Bolton News successfully challenged an application to the court by the defendant to prevent the publication of his address.

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