Aston Villa fan stormed pitch and tried to punch stewards, court hears

Drunk Aston Villa fan, 26, stormed the pitch and tried to punch stewards after referee disallowed his team’s late equaliser, court hears

  • Mitchell Voss, 26, tried to punch a steward after his team’s goal was disallowed
  • The Aston Villa fan was seen throwing punches before falling over in 2019
  • Was spared a football ban after telling court he had been drunk and apologised

A lifelong Aston Villa fan stormed the pitch and lashed out at stewards after a referee disallowed his team’s late equaliser, a court heard.

Mitchell Voss, 26, was incensed when Henri Lansbury’s effort was chalked off and captain Jack Grealish was given a yellow card for a dive in the build-up in the game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

He was seen throwing punches before falling over, staggering to his feet and making gestures at Palace fans.

But Voss was spared a football ban after he told the court he was drunk and apologised at Croydon magistrates court.

Mitchell Voss, 26, (pictured) was incensed when Henri Lansbury’s effort was chalked off and captain Jack Grealish was given a yellow card for a dive in the build-up in the game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park

Alex Alawode, prosecuting, told the court: ‘The defendant is being sentenced for a matter of affray, dating back some two years now to 31 August 2019.

‘There was a football match between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa at the home ground of Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

‘It was just shy of 5pm, the game was approaching its end, and Aston Villa was losing before a goal was scored to equalise, however the referee disallowed this goal.

‘Fans of Aston Villa are described as rushing forward to celebrate the goal.

‘Stewards are then described as coming forward to try and push the crowd back.

‘As a result of the goal being disallowed it was noted that celebrations soon turned to anger, during the course of which stewards are said to be under attack by members of the crowd.

‘Members of the crowd are described as pushing and punching in various directions and police had to become involved to separate people.

‘The incident was captured on CCTV.

‘The defendant can be seen on CCTV running toward the incident. He is described as putting his weight front and his hands can be seen moving in a punching motion with his fists.

‘It is not fully clear if he does actually make contact with anyone.

‘He is then described as falling over before getting back up. He is shouting and being aggressive toward stewards that were present.

‘He is described as remaining in the area for some time, making gestures at the opposing fans.

‘When interviewed the defendant made admissions. He was intoxicated at the time, but he knew his actions were wrong.’

Magistrate Alan Hutchings asked Mr Voss how he felt about his actions.

Voss, of Sandwell, West Midlands, said: ‘Obviously I’m quite disappointed in myself.

‘It was alcohol related and this isn’t how I would usually act.

Voss was spared a football ban after he told the court he was drunk and apologised at Croydon magistrates court (pictured)

‘I’ve been an Aston Villa fan my whole life. I used to go to games with family and then since I was 15 or 16 I’ve been travelling round the country on my own.

‘I take my children to games. It was completely out of character and I’m very sorry for the offence I’ve caused.’

Voss was one of seven men, identified via CCTV footage, charged with affray as a result of the altercation.

All seven defendants were initially charged with the more severe offence of violent disorder before prosecutors accepted their guilty pleas to affray.

The court heard that the other defendants had each received a football banning order, banning them from attending football matches for three years.

Mr Voss did not receive the same order and Mr Hutchings said: ‘Regarding the football banning order, we have given it serious consideration.

‘We have decided not to grant the order.

‘The reasons for that are that we can see no related previous offending in relation to the football disorder and we believe that you truly do have remorse for this incident, which is why I wanted to hear from you yourself rather than through your solicitor.

‘We came very close to granting it and we gave it serious consideration.

‘However, this offence is serious enough for us to make a Community Order. This will last for 12 months.’

Mr Voss was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay a total of £180 in costs.

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