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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 03:08 GMT 04:08 UK
England fan jailed for two years
England fan led into Portuguese court
Twelve England fans appeared in court on Wednesday
A Portuguese court has sentenced an England fan to two years in prison for taking part in a riot in the Algarve.

Gary Mann, 46, of Faversham in Kent, will serve the sentence in England.

Ten other England fans, seven of whom received suspended sentences, will also be deported from Portugal immediately. A twelfth was found not guilty.

All 12 had denied public order offences and resisting arrest on Monday night when 200 supporters clashed with riot police in Albufeira.

There were angry scenes following the 12-hour hearing as Mann shouted: "It's a stitch up. I wasn't even there."

Gary Mann was detained and arrested for throwing a bottle at military police
Judge Filipe Marques

John Parkes, 19, of Dudley, David Jackson, 28, of Peterborough, John Jackson, 22, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Ricky Tsigarides, 22, of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, Daniel Marsh, 20, of Barnsley, and Andrew Williams, 21, of Burgess Hill, Sussex, all received seven-month jail sentences suspended for three years.

All six were told they would be deported and could not return to Portugal for a year.

Peter Barmick, 37, of Eastleigh, Thornaby, Middlesbrough, received a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for three years.

Joe Nicholls, 24, of Aldershot in Hampshire, who was acquitted, will be allowed to stay in Portugal.

Paul Donahue, 31, and Jason Boyle, 22, both of Manchester, were also cleared - but prosecutors said other evidence should be investigated, and they were told they could not return to Portugal for five years.

Jack Hobbs, 19, of Oxford, was also cleared of criminal wrongdoing but told he could not return to Portugal for a year.

Riot police clash with fans
Some fans complained the police were too heavy-handed

Most of the men claimed they were innocent bystanders caught up in a confrontation with the police, and denied throwing anything.

But most were identified as troublemakers by one or more of the many police witnesses to appear in court.

BBC News Online's Duncan Walker, inside the court, said some fans had complained they felt they had not had proper access to adequate legal representation.

There were also reports that they had struggled to understand the translation of the proceedings.

Outlining the case against them after hearing from police and character witnesses, Judge Filipe Marques said: "Gary Mann was detained and arrested for throwing a bottle at military police.

I was in the wrong place at the wrong time
Ricky Tsigarides
English defendant

"When he ran away he incited others to do the same and to fight against the police."

The judge said one fan with a French flag had urged others to throw glasses and bottles at police.

"One of the police was hit in the head.

"Eleven people were injured and these people were detained.

"All of these fans were involved."

A Uefa spokesman said they were not treating the clashes as football hooliganism: "From our perspective we view it as unrelated to the tournament.

But he warned this would be reviewed if there was trouble around a stadium or an England game.

On Tuesday night, another 33 England fans were held after similar scenes which prompted condemnation from Prime Minister Tony Blair.

'Shameful'

They are due to appear in court in Portugal later this week.

Mr Blair said the troublemakers brought "shame on our country".

He added: "The police should come down very heavily and make sure that those who engage in this disorder face heavy penalties."

Many fans had claimed the police were too heavy-handed, an accusation denied by the Portuguese.

A Home Office spokesperson in London said if British police gathered enough evidence, any fans deported could also face prosecution in the UK.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Tim Muffett
"Identified by a Portuguese judge as a ringleader"



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