Footy shame accused are cleared

John Welsh, left, and Dean Carroll
John Welsh, left, and Dean Carroll

TWO Hartlepool football fans accused of being embroiled in violence which left a rival supporter fighting for his life have walked free from court.

Dean Carroll, 28, and John Welsh, 22, were arrested and charged along with seven others, after Hartlepool and Sheffield Wednesday supporters clashed near the town’s train station.

One away fan, Kevin Taylor (pictured left), was left in a coma for several weeks after being punched to the ground by Hartlepool man Paul Bennett, 24, who is in custody awaiting sentence.

Another away fan, who had been to Hartlepool’s 5-0 defeat, Stanley Ryman, was also attacked by Bennett and suffered a badly broken nose.

Mr Carroll and Mr Welsh were accused of joining in the assault on Mr Ryman, 47, and also of alleged yobbish behaviour.

But they were both cleared of any wrongdoing yesterday after a week-long trial at Teesside Crown Court.