BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 18 November, 2002, 13:17 GMT
Fan jailed over pitch invasion
Michael Harper and goalkeeper Peter Enckelman
Michael Harper confronts goalkeeper Peter Enckelman
A Birmingham City fan who invaded the pitch to taunt opposition players at a local derby has been jailed for four months.

Michael Harper was "overcome with emotion" when Aston Villa goalkeeper Peter Enckelman allowed an own goal during the match on 16 September.

The 26-year-old of Leafield Road, Solihull, was also banned from attending any designated football matches for the next six years when he appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court.

At a previous hearing, the building labourer admitted one count of encroaching the playing surface at City's St Andrews ground and another of using threatening behaviour during the game.

Players abused

The court had heard Harper, who holds a City season ticket, approached Aston Villa goalkeeper Peter Enckelman after running on to the pitch to celebrate City's second goal in the 3-0 win.

He later admitted to police he had invaded the pitch three times and was abusive towards Aston Villa players.

District judge Richard Clancy told Harper his behaviour was so serious that it warranted a jail sentence.

"Other people that saw your conduct are in a situation where a message must go out to them," he said.

Apology letters

"It is a position where things could have got out of control because of your actions.

"This was a very public thing you did and the players are entitled to protection."

Steven Masih, defending, said Harper had been so ashamed of his actions he had surrendered himself to police within days of the match and wrote apology letters to both clubs and the players he had taunted.

Harper was told he would serve half his sentence before being considered for release and he could apply for his banning order to be discontinued after four years.


Click here to go to BBC Birmingham Online
See also:

09 Oct 02 | England
02 Oct 02 | Birmingham City
17 Sep 02 | Birmingham City
16 Sep 02 | Eng Prem
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes