Hartlepool United fan cleared of assault after Yeovil match as case is dismissed
A Hartlepool United fan has been cleared of punching a fellow supporter after the case was thrown out of court.
Joe Alexander Evans, 24, attended Teesside Magistrates’ Court for a trial after being charged with assault by beating of a man by punching him in the face and knocking him to the ground.
It was alleged to have happened outside Victoria Park on Clarence Road following Hartlepool United’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Yeovil on October 5 last year.
A member of Cleveland Police’s football unit claimed to have seen Mr Evans carry out the assault before leaving the scene towards Morrisons supermarket.
The officer said he believed the attacker had mistakenly believed the victim to be a Yeovil fan when in fact they were also a Hartlepool supporter.
Mr Evans, of Hilda Walk, Hartlepool, denied being the person responsible and said it was a case of mistaken identity.
Magistrates said there was no case to answer and dismissed the charge.
It was after Mr Evans’ lawyer Andrew Teate said the officer’s identification of Mr Evans was based on third party hearsay evidence and a police identity parade had not been carried out.
The officer admitted he had never had any direct contact with Mr Evans.
The assault was also not captured on video.
The chairman of the bench said: “Having heard all the prosecution case and having heard submissions on no case to answer by both the prosecution and defence we do not feel there is a case to answer.”