Hartlepool United fan avoids banning order after going onto pitch during Carlisle United match
A Hartlepool United fan who went on to the pitch during a home game has avoided being banned from attending matches.
Jonathan Bee, 36, was fined by Teesside Magistrates Court last month after he admitted entering the playing area at Victoria Park without lawful authority during Pools’ match against Carlisle United on August 28.
He was ordered to pay £266 and other financial penalties of £119.
Bee returned to court on Thursday, October 21, as the Crown Prosecution Service asked magistrates to make a football banning order which aimed to prevent him attending any regulated football match for at least three years.
But the magistrates rejected the application as they did not feel there was enough grounds for the order after Bee said he was tipped onto the pitch by friends.
Prosecutor Paul Doney said Bee was observed by police inside the ground encroaching the pitch three times.
Mr Doney said on the first occasion Bee “fell backwards” over a perimeter wall before going back in the crowd.
He said Bee encroached twice more and on the third occasion was detained by stewards.
Mr Doney said: “He was unsteady on his feet with glazed eyes and slurred speech. The officer formed the opinion he was drunk.”
Representing himself in court, Bee said he had gone to the game with friends and had drank some shots on the morning as one of his pals was celebrating a birthday.
He said: “I hold my hands up. It was stupid. But I wasn’t running on the pitch or anything.
"A couple of lads kept on getting my feet and throwing us over.”
Bee, of Ellary Walk, said he normally goes to watch Hartlepool with his young son who would not be able to go if he was banned.
Rejecting the order, chair of the bench Alan Hall said: “We’re not satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to make that order in this instance.”
Mr Hall said it was partly because there was no violence and he added: “You didn’t deliberately put yourself in that area.”
Bee thanked the magistrates, adding: “I will only be going with my son now.”
Home Office figures published this week showed no Hartlepool fans received banning orders during 2020-21 with just three currently banned from grounds as of August 1.