Hartlepool United fan banned from matches for three years as judge references recent Everton and Nottingham Forest pitch invasions

A Hartlepool United fan who encroached on the playing area has been banned from matches as a district judge highlighted the dangers of recent pitch invasions.

Monday, 23rd May 2022, 8:01 am
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2022, 9:01 am

Matthew Robinson admitted climbing onto the Victoria Park pitch when Hartlepool United came back from two goals down to beat Harrogate Town on October 23 last year.

He pleaded guilty to the offence contrary to the Football (Offences) Act of 1991 during a previous appearance at Teesside Magistrates’ Court in March.

Robinson, 26, has now returned to court last to learn his punishment and to argue against being made subject to a Football Banning Order.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Matthew Robinson was given a three-year Football Banning Order at Teesside Magistrates Court. Picture by FRANK REID.

Prosecutor Anne Mitchell told the court: “The defendant was seen to climb over hoardings on to the pitch where he was raising both arms towards opposing supporters.

"It’s an offence which qualifies for the imposition of a Football Banning Order.”

District Judge Marie Mallon made reference to recent disorder seen during bigger pitch invasions.

Last week, a Nottingham Forrest fan was jailed for 24 weeks for headbutting a Sheffield United player at the end of a Championship play-off semi-final.

Robinson went on to the pitch during the game during Hartlepool's home match against Harrogate Town on October 23 last year. Picture by FRANK REID

And in a Premier League game, Crystal Palace boss Patrick Viera was involved in an altercation with an Everton fan after a large-scale pitch invasion at Goodison Park.

Robinson, a machine operative, of Henry Smith Terrace, Hartlepool, who had no previous convictions, said: “That’s a lot more dangerous [than what I did]."

But District Judge Mallon said it showed how one thing can lead to another, saying: “When people go on to the pitch we have seen very clearly in detail this week what can happen.

"I’m sure you were overcome by emotion, but you should have stayed your side of the boundary.”

Representing himself, Robinson added he only went on the very edge of the pitch for “two seconds”, is not a violent person and had been prevented from going to Hartlepool’s last nine games.

But District Judge Mallon made a three-year banning order saying it was necessary to help prevent disorder at future games.

She also fined Robinson £246 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £34 surcharge.

The court heard a number of other fans also went on the pitch at the same game.

Read More

Read More
Hartlepool bar has licence suspended after fights and 'throwing of glasses'