A football fan who caused a steward to fall under the hooves of a police horse during a pitch invasion at Preston has been banned from every ground in the country for three years.
Market trader David Lewis pleaded guilty to assaulting security guard Alan Entwistle as hundreds swarmed on to the Deepdale pitch at the end of a Capital One Cup tie between arch-rivals Preston North End and Blackpool last year.
The 44-year-old was also fined £500, with Judge Andrew Woolman sparing him a jail term because it could not be proved he had intended to push the steward in front of the horse. TV footage of the incident, played in the city’s Crown Court, showed Lewis being chased by a police officer before bumping into Mr Entwistle who was then knocked to the ground by a passing police horse. A second trampled him underfoot, injuring his left arm.
Judge Woolman said: “There was a substantial pitch invasion involving several hundred people. Some of them went towards Blackpool fans and were threatening violence.
“I have watched the TV pictures and so far as your role is concerned there is no evidence at all that you were threatening violence.
“I have no doubt you were in a celebratory mood. But you encountered Mr Entwistle who was trying to get hold of you and move you away, which he was perfectly entitled to do. You didn’t like that and you got hold of him and pushed him. Fortunately for you he was not seriously hurt.”
Judge Woolman, who imposed a football banning order for three years, said had it been proved conclusively that Lewis had intended to push the steward into the path of the horse then he would have sent him to prison.
Lewis, of Ashworth Grove, Preston, was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to Mr Entwistle and £800 towards the court costs.