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English hooligan slapped with five-year football banning order for Marseille involvement

SoccerBy Sunday World
Daniel Warlow
Daniel Warlow

A 24-year-old hooligan has been handed a five-year football banning order for his involvement in violent disorder ahead of England's opening Euro 2016 match against Russia.

Daniel Warlow, of Spring Meadow, Tipton, West Midlands, did not contest the application by the Crown Prosecution Service on behalf of West Midlands Police on Tuesday.

Prosecuting, Amar Sanghara, said a police "spotter" in the UK saw coverage of violence in Marseille on Friday June 10, and saw video showing Birmingham City supporter Warlow "throwing a chair".

In sentencing, district judge Shamim Qureshi told him: "I'm not going to give you a lecture, I think you've learned from experience of the last week how things can go terribly wrong in society."

The judge added Warlow would be "vilified" for his behaviour but warned other England fans caught up in the trouble they would also get their "just desserts" upon return.

Judge Qureshi said: "It's important to realise that I expect you're the first person subject to this application in this country, so you'll no doubt be vilified for that on social media and the internet.

"But there are many others in the same boat - you are not a scapegoat.

"Each will receive their just desserts when brought to book."

The court heard that Blues' supporter Warlow was known to police as a member of a "risk group" of Birmingham City supporters, himself involved in at least nine incidents of domestic football disorder since 2010.

Because of his status on the police watch list, Warlow and two other males were stopped and spoken to by officers at Birmingham Airport on June 9.

The group flew on to Brussels, and then Marseille, having told British police there would be stopping in the city.

Mr Sanghara said: "Warlow stated he was a member of the England Supporters' Club and had a ticket for the Euro 2016 game on June 11 (against Russia)."

Trouble broke out in the southern French port city of Marseille that night, involving England fans, and the following morning a British officer in the UK spotted Warlow in a press photo of the violence.

Mr Sanghara said: "Pc Colin Barlow was on duty at Birmingham Airport for the ports operation for Euro 2016, reading an article which had appeared in the media in France on Friday, involving England supporters.

"Within this article was a series of 19 pictures which the officer looked through.

"One photo showed a white male, in a white top, light shorts and a dark hat throwing a chair and immediately the officer identified this male as Daniel Warlow, a male known through policing Birmingham City football matches."

Warlow, who had by that time flown back from France, was served with the notice of an application for a football banning order on his return.

In mitigation, defence solicitor Shabeer Qureshi said: "He's bang to rights so far as the photo is concerned.

"Regarding the incident, I'm sure that you are aware of the many press reports about Russian fans' behaviour, and French fans, attending effectively tooled up and getting ready to attack England fans.

"Russian fans tooling up with gum shields, fingerless martial arts gloves, and bandanas."

Judge Qureshi, interceding, said: "And then we get Russian government officers complimenting them."

The defence solicitor continued: "It's extremely worrying.

"But the fact of the matter is Mr Warlow is a man of good character.

"You've heard he was stopped at the port effectively, let in and allowed to go on his way.

"There's violent disorder going on in Marseille, and he accepts that, very foolishly, he's picked up a chair and thrown it.

"He accepts he could have and should have dealt with it in a different way in removing himself from that area very, very quickly."

The judge heard that Warlow has never been in court before, or received a warning or caution from police.

His solicitor said: "I can tell you now that, because of what has occurred - and he's seen first-hand the violence by Russian fans - he's no intention at all of going anywhere near Russia in 2018."

Handing Warlow the banning order, Judge Qureshi told him his behaviour was "disgraceful by anybody's standards" and said if caught in Marseille he would undoubtedly have been in a French jail by now.

He added: "Thank your lucky stars that I don't have jurisdiction to prosecute you for what you did in France.

"Anybody doing that in this country would have been prosecuted and sentenced for it in the same way."

The order bans Warlow from every football match in the UK, and means he must surrender his passport before every major international tournament if asked by police to do so.

Warlow is further banned from going within five miles of fixtures where the Blues are playing.

The order means he cannot enter any town or city where Birmingham City or England are playing, with the exceptions of Birmingham, London and Manchester, before, during or three hours after a game.

Warlow is also prevented from travelling by rail to any city where the Blues are playing, except for work purposes.

He must also tell police of any changes of name, or if his passport is lost, stolen or replaced.

The judge also criticised a member of the Russian government who appeared to condone the country's fans' involvement in the violence both inside and outside the stadium on June 11.

Judge Qureshi said: "It is difficult to comprehend the mentality of any nationality who condones and supports it, regardless of their place in society or government."

In a statement issued after the court hearing, Warlow's solicitors, Football Law Associates, said: "Mr Warlow did not oppose the civil football banning order application made by West Midlands Police at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

"This does not amount to an agreement that the contents are true and many allegations within the application are disputed.

"Contesting the application after this weekend's events in Marseille would be highly prejudicial to Mr Warlow."