‘Hooligan’ who started brawl at Whitton Sports and Social Club is handed suspended prison sentence

The Whitton United Football Club

The Whitton United Football Club - Credit: Su Anderson

An Ipswich man who was involved in a “violent brawl” at an Ipswich football clubhouse which left several people needing medical treatment has been given a suspended prison sentence.

William Harbour, 29, of Woodlands Way, Ipswich, admitted violent disorder at Whitton United Football Club on August 31 last year.

Sentencing him, Recorder Martyn Levett said Harbour acted like a “hooligan and a thug” and was responsible for starting the trouble.

He gave Harbour an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years, two years’ supervision and a nine month electronically monitored curfew between 7pm-7am. He was also banned from going to the Whitton Sports and Social Club in Old Norwich Road for two years and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.

Recorder Levett said that during the violence two people were injured and frightened children attending a private party had run outside and were comforted by their mothers.

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Ipswich Crown Court heard CCTV footage of the brawl showed stools being knocked over and a glass shattering as it was thrown across the bar.

Last week two other defendants, William Beaney, 20, of Woodbridge Road East, Ipswich, and Anthony Smith, 28, of Cirencester, admitted violent disorder arising out of the same incident.

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Smith was given an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years, ordered to do 250 hours unpaid community work, pay £1,000 costs and given a three month curfew order.

Beaney was given a 12-month period of detention in a young offenders institution suspended for two years, ordered to do 180 hours’ unpaid work and pay £400 costs. Both men were banned from going to Whitton Sports and Social Club for two years.

Matthew Sorel-Cameron, prosecuting, said there were around 30 people, including 15 children, at the clubhouse including families attending a birthday party and a group containing the defendants.

During the evening Harbour asked a man at the bar who he was “glaring at” and when a woman tried to calm Harbour down he ended up scuffling with her. Things then “kicked off” and Harbour, Beaney and Smith threw punches.

The incident lasted less than five minutes and left one man needing surgery to repair a hole in his ear and another man with a swelling on his forehead. “He was shaking and dazed and claimed he was thrown to the floor and kicked to the head,” Mr Sorel-Cameron said.

Steven Dyble, for Harbour, said his client had a medical condition which meant he was unable to do unpaid work in the community.

For more on this, see update here

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