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Thirteen guilty of football related violence

Court 2

Follows large disorder at the King Billy pub in April 2017

Thirteen men have been found guilty at Exeter Crown Court of football related violence, following a large disorder within Exeter last year.

At approximately 9pm on Good Friday, 14th April 2017, police responded to a report of a large disorder at the King Billy public house in Exeter.

All of the defendants were identified to be supporters of Plymouth Argyle or Exeter City, with the Plymouth supporters having been at the Portsmouth v Plymouth Argyle match earlier that day at Fratton Park, Portsmouth.

A full investigation was subsequently carried out by officers from the Alliance Operations Football unit and fifteen men were charged. 

Stuart Wheeler, age 40 from Beacon Heath, Exeter was acquitted during his trial and Sheridan Davey age 46 from Weston Super Mare was found not guilty.

The following men pled guilty to affray before the start of the trial and were sentenced as below.

Wayne Rowland age 50 from Rexona Close, Exeter was handed 12 months in jail suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work plus a four year football banning order.

Matthew Rowland age 21 from Rexona Close, Exeter was handed 32 week in jail suspended for two years,160 hours of unpaid work plus a four year football banning order.

Matthew High age 19 from Morchard Road, Crediton was handed 47 week in jail suspended for two years,180 hours of unpaid work plus a five year football banning order.   

Alan Phillips age 49 from Ladysmith Road Heavitree, Exeter was handed 12 months in jail suspended for two years plus a curfew for 20 weeks from 9pm-6am.

Nick Spinoulas age 22 from East John Walk, Newtown, Exeter was handed 12 months in jail suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work plus a four year football banning order.

Oliver Southern age 22 from Anthony Road, Heavitree, Exeter was handed 42 week in jail suspended for two years,160 hours of unpaid work plus a five year football banning order.

Jamie Baker age 32 from Homer Park, Saltash was handed 48 week in jail suspended for two years,180 hours of unpaid work plus a five year football banning order.   

Steve Dyke age 42 from Bulmer Road, St Judes, Plymouth failed to appear at Exeter Crown court for sentencing and there is now a warrant issued for his arrest.

The following men chose to take their case to trial; they were found guilty of affray and received the following sentences.   

Mark Langdon age 27 from Austen Close, Whipton, Exeter was handed 12 months in jail suspended for two years. Langdon, who has previous football-related violence to his name was given 200 hours of unpaid work plus 20 days rehabilitation. He was issued with a five year football banning order.

Stefan Szypillo age 54 from Hamlin Gardens Exeter was jailed for six months suspended for two years and a five-month night time curfew.

Chris Ashton age 41 from Welsford Avenue, Stoke, Plymouth Ashton was handed 12 months in jail suspended for two years. Ashton who has previous football-related violence to his name must do 250 hours of unpaid work. He was issued with a four year football banning order.

George Photiou age 24 from Hamilton Gardens, Mutley, Plymouth was given a six- months in jail suspended for two years. He was given 200 hours of unpaid work and a prohibition activity requirement to stop him attending Plymouth Argyle games for two years.

Wayne Brownlow age 46 from Westcountry Close, Weston Mill, Plymouth was given nine months in jail, suspended for two years. He was given a drug rehabilitation order, a mental health requirement and 20 days rehabilitation with probation. Brownlow who has previous football-related violence to his name was issued with a four year football banning order.

Chief Inspector Russ Dawe Alliance Operations and Events Planning, said: “This has been a lengthy investigation undertaken by Devon and Cornwall Police and assisted by the recently restructured Sporting Events department, resulting in the successful prosecution of 13 offenders.

“The department has worked closely throughout this investigation with both football clubs and partner agencies to ensure these types of football related incidents are stamped out as they have no place in the modern game.

“Any form of violence or hate crime will not be tolerated by Devon and Cornwall Police or our local football clubs. 

“This newly formed department will continue to work in partnership to reduce these levels of incidents and deal robustly with those identified as being involved within disorder.

“As a result of the departments’ proactive approach, Devon and Cornwall Police have already seen an increase within Football banning orders resulting from Football related prosecutions this past year. I would also like to personally thank the numerous witnesses who came forward and spoke to us following this disorder.”

A spokesperson from Plymouth Argyle, said: “These are people that attach themselves to football but are supporters, neither of the game nor either club. We thank Devon and Cornwall Police for bringing them to justice and support the appropriate action taken by the courts.

"Plymouth Argyle completely disassociates itself from these offenders and their behaviour. There is no place for them in football, and, as such, they are not welcome at Home Park.”

Julian Tagg, Chairman of Exeter City Football Club, said: “Since the club was taken over by the Supporters' Trust more than 15 years ago we have been extremely proud of our safety record and reputation that Exeter City Football Club has for being a friendly and safe place to come.

“We work closely with Devon and Cornwall Police before and on match days to ensure everyone enjoys coming to our family club.

“This incident took place well away from the club and was very much an isolated incident. We are grateful for the swift action and perseverance of the police in dealing with this isolated incident. The club takes a zero tolerance on violence of any nature and do not welcome anybody at the ground that want to engage in this kind of behaviour.”


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