Ipswich/Sheffield: Jailed football thug had been banned for attacking Town fans

A FOOTBALL yob jailed for attacking Sheffield Wednesday’s goalkeeper was one of the Leeds thugs banned for attacking Ipswich supporters in 2007.

Aaron Cawley was imprisoned for 16 weeks yesterday after he admitted assaulting Chris Kirkland and invading the pitch during Friday night’s televised game.

The 21-year-old from Cheltenham – who had been Leeds’s mascot at Portman Road when he was aged ten – was also given his third football banning order.

His received his first – a three-year order – in January 2008 when he was aged 16 after an Elland Road pitch invasion by around 200 fans who tried to attack Ipswich supporters.

Disabled Town supporters were among those who came under attack from Leeds yobs during the 1-1 draw which saw the Yorkshire club relegated to League One.


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The disorder resulted in three men being jailed and a total of 14, including Cawley, being banned from football matches. Cawley was also given a 12-month action plan, when he appeared before Leeds Crown Court.

Yesterday, Cawley appeared before Sheffield Magistrates’ Court after being arrested for pushing Kirkland in the face during the 1-1 at Hillsborough on Friday.

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Kirkland was shoved to the ground moments after conceding an equaliser in the 76th minute.

Unemployed labourer Cawley stood in the dock with a “LUFC” tattoo visible on his neck and a Leeds United club crest on his right arm.

The court heard that he had been the subject of two previous football banning orders, which he had breached four times.

Prosecutor Paul Macaulay said Cawley told police he could not recall Friday’s incident as he had drunk several cans of Stella Artois lager on Friday morning, followed by three-quarters of a litre of vodka and seven to ten pints of cider.

The court heard Cawley was given a three-year football banning order in January 2008 and another in November 2008 after breaches.

When he breached that order in September last year he was given ten weeks in a Young Offenders’ Institution.

District Judge Naomi Redhouse said Cawley would be given a new banning order, probably for five years. Cawley was also ordered to pay �85 costs.

n What do you think should happen to football yobs? E-mail starletters@archant.co.uk or Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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