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Saturday, 4 May, 2002, 00:04 GMT 01:04 UK
Four charged over Millwall violence
Footage of the scenes outside the New Den
47 police were injured in Thursday night's trouble
Four men have been charged following the "ferocious" violence after Thursday's Millwall game, in which 47 officers were injured.

The trouble, involving between 600 and 900 Millwall fans, followed the club's bitter Division One play-off defeat by Birmingham City.

Police are considering suing the south London football club for damages after the "vicious" violence in which they came under a barrage of missiles for more than an hour.

However, club chairman Theo Paphitis said Millwall itself could not be blamed for the actions of a "mindless minority".

"Where incidents occur away from the Den we do of course feel a moral responsibility," Mr Paphitis said.

Injured police horse, Alamien
24 police horses were also injured
"But the problem of mob violence is not solely a Millwall problem, it is not a football problem, it is a problem which plagues the whole of our society."

Three of the men have been charged with public order offences.

They are: James Gavin Mullen, 19, of St Francis Avenue, Gravesend in Kent; Mark Bellchambers, 21, of Bradley Road, Enfield, north London, and John Cornelius Parker, 18, of Beldan Hall, Hallstead in Kent.

Mr Mullen and Mr Parker were bailed to appear before Greenwich magistrates on Wednesday, while Mr Bellchambers was bailed to re-appear at an east London police station at a date to be fixed.

'Unbelievable'

Police also said Nigel Simon Haywood, 22, of Corser Street, Dudley, West Midlands was charged with breach of a banning order. He appeared before Greenwich magistrates on Friday.

A 25-year-old man and a 22-year-old man arrested outside the ground were warned for drunkenness, and a 40-year-old man was released with no further action, police said.


It was one of the most unbelievable and violent situations I have been in

Sergeant Russell Lamb
During the hour of violence crowds threw missiles, including bricks, paving stones, a chisel, flares and fireworks at police. Two cars were set alight.

Chief Superintendent Mike Humphrey said: "This is my seventh season as commander for Millwall and this is the worst yet."

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said out of 36 mounted police officers, 24 were injured, and so were 24 horses.

She said one whole 21-strong unit of riot police was injured.

Nine of the injured were treated in hospital for injuries including a broken leg, arm and foot.

Lifetime ban

Sergeant Russell Lamb said the situation was "like a battlefield" and the most frightening he had been in.

"I have done the poll tax and May Day riots and Wapping in the 1980s and I am in no doubt that it was one of the most unbelievable and violent situations I have been in."


We will do anything we can to identify any troublemakers

Millwall president Reg Burr
Millwall president Reg Burr vowed that any troublemakers would get a lifetime ban.

"We will do anything we can to identify any troublemakers and the appropriate action will be taken - we will ban them for life," he said.

Police warned they had video footage of the disturbances and expected to make a significant number of arrests.

They said some of the violence must have been premeditated, as weapons had been stashed away ahead of the match.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Margaret Gilmore
"Dozens were caught in the thick of the rioting"
Met Police Deputy Commissioner Ian Blair
"The cost is 47 police officers injured"
Birmingham City supporter Ivan Barnsley
"It was very nasty indeed"
Millwall president Reg Burr
"It depends what you call injured"
Millwall FC Chairman Theo Paphitis
"It's not acceptable that we have scenes like those"
See also:

03 May 02 | Millwall
03 May 02 | Millwall
02 May 02 | Eng Div 1
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