Over-excited Axminster football fan avoids ban

PUBLISHED: 12:57 15 June 2016 | UPDATED: 14:39 15 June 2016

Exeter Magistrates' Court

Exeter Magistrates' Court

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Exeter City supporter fined £255 for running on the pitch to celebrate his side’s late winner

An ‘overexcited’ soccer fan from Axminster who ran on to the pitch after his side had taken the lead in a ‘derby’ league game, has avoided a three year banning order.

Matthew Penfold was regarded as ‘risk supporter’ by police who had 150 officers on duty for the Exeter City league game against fierce rivals Plymouth Argyle in April.

After City scored a late winner, the 29-year-old ran on to the pitch before he was grabbed by stewards and police.

He told a court: “I just got overexcited. I had drunk but I was not really bad. I remember everything. They were a bit rough handed.”

But he admitted to Exeter Magistrates Court that if he had been sober he may still have run onto the St James Park pitch saying :”I can’t say.”

He ran past stewards and barriers to get onto the playing surface where the players and officials were in the closing stages of the 2-1 victory to City.

Prosecutor Lyndsey Baker said Penfold ‘was fairly drunk’ and ‘he had got overexcited’.

Penfold, of Woodbury Park, Axminster, admitted going on to the pitch and was fined a total of £255. He has no previous convictions but Miss Baker said he was known to the local force as a ‘risk supporter’.

The JPs did not impose the three year ban saying it would be ‘disproportionate to what you did’

But The Bench warned him there would be no second chance.


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