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Tuesday, June 16, 1998 Published at 21:58 GMT 22:58 UK


Toulouse on edge

English fans provoked much of the violence

Security is being stepped up in the French city of Toulouse where England play their next World Cup match on Monday.

More than a thousand England supporters have already arrived and a music festival planned for this weekend has been postponed because of fears of disturbances.

On Tuesday another three England fans were jailed for their part in the violence which surrounded England's first match in Marseilles.

Two were sentenced to four months in prison; one was given two months. A total of six English hooligans have now been jailed for their parts in the violence.

Adam Mynott reports from Marseille
Liam Yeomans and Mark Thompson were among the first England fans to start throwing bottles and stones at a procession of Tunisian supporters in Marseille's Old Port.

The attack led to seven hours of rioting in the centre of Marseille and once again prompted international condemnation of English soccer thugs.

[ image: Riot police arrested scores of hooligans]
Riot police arrested scores of hooligans
Both Yeomans and Thompson were sentenced to four months in prison by Judge Jacqueline Faglin at Marseille's Palais de Justice, and will be banned from entering France for two years after their release.

Skinhead Yeomans, 26, a tiler from Leicester, and 31-year-old Thompson, a railway worker from Nuneaton, appeared in court two days after the rioting under the special fast-track justice system introduced by the French authorities to crack down on World Cup hooliganism.

Judge Faglin told Yeomans that the French authorities had been put on alert to expect trouble from him by the specialist anti-hooligan officers of Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Service.

She told him: "You are known in the UK as a hooligan. The British police warned us you were here. You are category C."

[ image: Some hooligans came prepared for trouble]
Some hooligans came prepared for trouble
She told Thompson that he was rated category B under the NCIS system.

There are about 100 category C hooligans who are known to be capable of orchestrating violence. NCIS has a list of thousands of people it rates as category B.

They will join in violence once it has started but are thought unlikely to initiate it.

Yeomans was seen by police to be among the first England fans to direct stones at Tunisians, and Thompson was also seen to throw empty beer bottles, the court heard.

Also jailed was 31-year-old postman Paul Grover, of Hanworth, west London, who was accused of throwing cans at police, both outside the Velodrome stadium where England's match was played and later at Marseille's main railway station.

[ image: Running battles went on for hours]
Running battles went on for hours
Judge Faglin imprisoned him for two months and banned him from entering France for one year following his release.

Four other England supporters were remanded in custody until July 15. Stephen Powell, 25, a salesman, from Hibaldstow, Humberside; Alan Libbiards, 28, a postman from London, and Shane Radford, a 22-year-old ticket clerk from London, were all arrested outside the stadium before Monday's match.

They were charged with throwing missiles at police. Later Powell was identified by a North African man as being among a group of English people who had attacked him during the riots on Sunday night, the court was told.

The man claimed Powell had hit him and another member of the group had stolen his bag, but Powell denied the allegation.

The hearing in Marseille on Tuesday night means that all the England fans charged with offences during the three days of disturbances have appeared in court.

On Monday night, three supporters were jailed, five remanded in custody until dates after the World Cup final in mid-July, and one released on unconditional bail.

Expulsion orders, requiring the removal of five other supporters from France, have been issued and it is understood that the remaining arrested fans, around 25 in total, have been released without charge.

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