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Leeds fan receives jail sentence after assaulting Newcastle boss Eddie Howe

A Leeds fan receives a jail sentence after assaulting Newcastle boss Eddie Howe in a Premier League fixture towards the end of last season.

35 year old David Derbyshire of Marley Street, Beeston, was handed a 12-week custodial sentence and a six-year football banning order at Leeds Magistrates Court on Thursday.

He pleaded guilty to charges of entering the playing area at a designated football match without lawful excuse and common assault against against the Magpies manager.

The incident took place on the 13th of May 2023 with Chief Superintendent Richard Close leading the police operation at the ground during that match.

The court heard what happened in the 93rd minute of the game clash as the teams had been level at 2-2

Footage was shown to those in court with Derbyshire making his way on to the pitch before repeatedly tapping Mr Howe on the shoulder. He was then seen to exchanged some words to him and shoved him in his chest before being removed by security staff.

Richard Close said: “Criminal behaviour of this kind is completely unacceptable, particularly where club staff or players are targeted during a large-scale sports event such as this.

“I know that fans of the sport, regardless of their club affiliations, will join us in condemning anyone who acts in this way. 

 “We will always treat incidents like this very seriously and we work closely with Leeds United and visiting clubs to fully investigate any offences and take robust action against those responsible, including seeking football banning orders against them.” 

Speaking to talkSPORT on the incident, Howe said in May: “For me, I’ve never experienced that before.

“I was looking in the opposite direction and he ran on and shouted something at me that I won’t repeat.

“It was over in a flash but it was the last thing you expect in that moment.

“It’s alarming for football really because we can’t have that, the safety of everyone, coaching staff, players, is of paramount importance.”

District Judge Tim Capstick told him: “You attended Elland Road football match as a fan. You had plainly had a significant amount of alcohol before you went to the ground and it is clear that alcohol has been a long-term problem for you.

“You chose to leave the stand and make your way along the players’ area and essentially assault the Newcastle football manager, Mr Howe.

“In my judgement this case falls outside the guidelines and has a number of aggravating features.”

He adds that Eddie Howe was “vulnerable” and had been targeted “simply because he was the football manager of the team playing against Leeds on that match day”.

Judge Capstick added: “Your behaviour had a risk of causing further violence or crowd trouble at the ground, it being the last match of the season and all that that entailed.

“Worse still, that match was televised so your behaviour was seen on national TV and seen by millions of people.

“I am satisfied that these offences are serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence.”

In mitigation, the fan’s barrister said his client had lost his job and his partner since his arrest, and had health issues.

Judge Capstick said: “The message needs to go out that people who behave as you do need to understand they can expect a custodial sentence.”

Here’s what Twitter users said as the Leeds fan receives a jail sentence after assaulting Newcastle boss Eddie Howe…

@Guardthebee: Absolutely ridiculous. Just ban him from all football grounds.

@Stephen_2610: Deserves every minute. Shouldn’t have been anywhere near the pitch let alone the manager . Lost self control and is rightly being made an example of.

@leeds_booth: I realise he shouldn’t have been near the pitch, but when I used to work in a bar, I’ve seen and experienced multiple customers doing much, much worse than that little push… and had zero punishment other than being barred from returning. 12 weeks in prison for that is crazy.

@Rustypickle__: Shouldn’t of done but seriously? Prison time?

@penfoldsteve: Funnily enough, he will be remembered more for his actions on the Elland Road pitch than Weston McKennie, and was sent to prison for it. Lifetime ban deserved though.

@therichgoodwin: 100% deserved. Could have had a knife, etc. Others need to be discouraged from doing the same. Hope he’s also got a lifetime ban.

@Jeffsy1: He looks older than 35

@CJBOCP: I’m a Toon fan but this is obviously a making an example of sentence rather than a fair one. How the fuck is that a jail sentence. Wouldn’t even be crime anywhere else

@dommer14: Yet you can drive an uninsured car, without a license and get a £50 fine

@SGB4: Good – a disgrace to us all

@jam21t: That’s nothing £15k fine & 12 months in prison for tampering with your smart meter … coming to a neighbour near you!

@Jodiest74046187: That security useless shouldn’t have even got close to Eddie that’s there job hope thay sacked

@ChrisCh36568603: Feel like he’s been punished for what he “could” of done rather than what he actually did.

@PorrettaGareth3: Fucking shocking when you see what’s going on in this country every day. Shouldn’t have done it but that is way over the top

@jonnychips70: How ridiculous is that

@ThunderLips3000: Is this his first offence & what law did he break? Surely it’s the private business rules & guidance otherwise, when there is a pitch invasion full of fans every1 would get arrested. Or was he charged with assault? 🤔

@YorkshireJack1: 3 months jail time, the same day I read a bloke got no jail time for having child porn on his computer. This country is a joke #lufc

@brookylufc93: Absolutely ridiculous when you think of the crimes people get away with on a daily basis

@woodeylufc: Community service would even be an insult for that. 12 weeks in prison that’s fucking ridiculous. I mean don’t get me wrong he shouldn’t be doing that but that punishment is harsh. Should just be a club ban.

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