Hartlepool United fan, 60, avoids football banning order after running onto pitch at The Vic
A Hartlepool United supporter who has followed the club for more than 40 years has narrowly avoided a football banning order.
John Carter, 60, appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Friday, November 1, charged with going onto playing area at a football match – contrary to the Football (Offences) Act 1991.
The court heard than on Saturday, September 21, Carter went onto the playing area at Victoria Park during the match between Hartlepool United and Dover Athletic.
Magistrates were told Carter went onto the pitch because ‘he felt aggrieved’ during the game which Pools lost 2-0.
Prosecutor Ansab Shan said: "At a Victoria Park match between Hartlepool United and Dover Athletic, midway through the second half at around 4.15pm Carter entered the play area and approached the referee.
"Numerous players asked him to get off the pitch, but he continued to walk towards the referee and there was an exchange of words."
The court heard how Carter then left the pitch and was spoken to by the police.
Prosecutor Mr Shan added: "He said that he had entered the playing area because he felt aggrieved.”
Carter, of Staincliffe Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to the charge.
Representing himself in court, Carter said: “When I entered the football pitch I did not run or wave my arms and I did not speak to the referee.
“I left the field, I was not escorted off.”
The prosecution made an application for a football banning order to prevent Carter from all football grounds for a fixed period, but this was rejected by magistrates.
On the application, Carter said: “I hope the football banning order does not happen.”
The court heard how Carter has followed Hartlepool United for 40 years and this is the first time that he has been brought to the attention of the police.
He has no previous convictions.
Carter was handed a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £21 and £85 in costs.
The club became the subject of much controversy following an alleged racially charged attack directed at the Dover Athletic players following Inih Effiong’s converted penalty in front of the Town End of Victoria Park.