Man Given Three Year Football Banning Order For Assaulting Steward

    A man who assaulted a female steward at a football match has been given a three-year Football Banning Order.

    Carl O’Brien (51) of Lea Way, York was made subject of the order, given a suspended jail sentence, fine and requirement to do unpaid work at a hearing at Leeds Crown Court on May 29 2024.

    The incident took place at the evening fixture of Leeds United v Nottingham Forrest at Elland Road on April 4, 2023.

    Police were contacted following an incident in the South stand in which a man, later identified as O’Brien, put his hand around the throat of a female steward and squeezed, as other spectators were leaving the stadium.  

    The victim was left with some minor injuries as a result of the incident.

    She was able to point the 51-year-old out to officers at the ground, resulting in his swift arrest.  

    He was later charged with an offence of intentional strangulation and appeared before Leeds magistrates on April 9.

    At his sentencing hearing he was given a 20 month suspended prison sentence, ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work, and pay a £187 fine.  

    Speaking after the sentencing, Chief Superintendent Russell Hughes, said: “Violence of any kind against match stewards is absolutely not tolerated and as a result of his actions, O’Brien has now been banned from attending any football fixture.

    “He subjected his victim to what was a distressing and frightening experience and was swiftly arrested by officers at the ground after she was able to identify him.

    “West Yorkshire Police will always treat incidents like this very seriously.  

    “We work closely with Leeds United and visiting clubs to fully investigate any offences committed and we will also take robust action against those responsible, including seeking Football Banning Orders against them.  

    “People who engage in such behaviour have no place football grounds in West Yorkshire or anywhere else in the country.”  

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