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Friday, 20 July, 2001, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Streaker gets five-year match ban
streaker graphics
The UK's most notorious streaker has been banned for five years from football matches after stripping off at the FA Cup Final in Cardiff.

Mark Roberts was originally given a three-year ban after taking his clothes off in the final between Liverpool and Arsenal on 12 May.
streaker at Lords
Baring all: A streaker at Lords makes his point

Roberts - who liked to call himself a professional streaker - appealed against the decision at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday but the judge decided to lengthen his sentence.

The 36-year-old from Liverpool became notorious after streaking during the general election, on Richard and Judy's This Morning show, and at Wimbledon and Crufts.

Roberts had also streaked across the pitch at Wembley and at Anfield and Goodison Park, the home of Liverpool and Everton football clubs.

He was tackled by one of the stewards who covered him up with a blanket

Prosecutor Julian Greenwood

But his antics landed him in court after he streaked at half-time in the FA Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium.

Roberts had put on "swift-removal" velcro trousers to strip quickly in a bid to outmanoeuvre security staff.

Cardiff magistrates fined him 100 and banned him from all soccer matches after he admitted breaching the Football Offences Act.

Prosecutor Julian Greenwood told the appeal hearing how Roberts flashed to the crowd during the cup final.

FA Cup
Stewards tackled Mr Roberts to the ground during the final
"At half time, he ran onto the pitch doing a streak and was tackled by one of the stewards who covered him up with a blanket."

The court was told Roberts has a long list of previous convictions for streaking.

"In 1994, he was sentenced for indecent exposure when he removed his lower clothing outside Wembley Stadium.

"In 1999, wearing a tearaway suit, he entered a filming of the BBC National Lottery programme, ran onto the stage and removed his clothing.

It was clearly planned and his trousers had been altered to substitute the seaming for velcro

Neil Bidder QC

The court heard the latest streak was just last month - during a Liberal Democrat election speech given by leader Charles Kennedy.

But Roberts claimed the soccer match ban was unfair because his streaking was just a "joke".

Mike Jones, defending, told how Roberts, of Prince's Park, Liverpool, sees himself as a "professional streaker."

But Neil Bidder QC, sitting with justices, turned down the appeal at Cardiff Crown Court and imposed a five-year ban.

Mr Bidder said: "This match was the very prestigious FA Cup Final.

"It was clearly planned and his trousers had been altered to substitute the seaming for velcro.

"His behaviour is not amusing."

See also:

06 Jan 01 | Football
Mini streaker on the pitch
07 Jan 01 | SOL
Bare without a care
08 Jan 01 | SOL
A streak too far
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