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Hoveton tree surgeon who invaded Carrow Road at Norwich versus Liverpool game banned from football matches for three years

06:30 05 July 2012

The 31-year-old was banned for games for three years.

The 31-year-old was banned for games for three years.

A Liverpool fan who ran on to the pitch at Carrow Road and gestured at Norwich fans was banned from football matches for three years yesterday.

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James Chew, of Tunstead Road, Hoveton, invaded the pitch when Liverpool striker Luis Suarez scored a wonder goal against Norwich on April 28.

The tree surgeon barged through his fellow Liverpool supporters, leapt over the advertising hoardings and hugged the Uruguayan striker.

At Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday, district judge Peter Veits told the father-of-one he would have escaped the match ban, if his one-man pitch invasion had been restricted to celebrating the 40-yard strike.

But to chants from Norwich City fans Chew then made rude gestures at the home crowd.

Mr Veits said: “You made a very deliberate hand gesture towards the Norwich fans.

“Your actions could have provoked violence and disorder.”

After making the lewd gestures to thousands of City fans the 31-year-old strolled off the pitch and held his arm aloft to Liverpool fans who cheered him as he was led away by police.

Chew then pulled the back of his trousers down to expose himself to the away fans.

He then abused police as he was put into the back of a van and taken away from the game, which Liverpool won three-nil with a Suarez hat-rick.

Ben Brighouse, prosecuting, said Chew had goaded the city fans and said the case amounted to hooliganism.

But Jamieson Plummer, mitigating, told the court: “He is using bad language and gestures but there is no violence.

“It was a spur of the moment thing.

“I would argue it was an isolated incident on impulse.”

Mr Plummer said his client’s actions were “very silly” but said emotions had got the better of him after the goal.

He urged the district judge against punishing Chew with a football banning order describing them as “draconian”.

But Mr Veits banned Chew from attending matches for three years.

He will also be banned from Norwich city centre four hours before and six hours after Liverpool play at Carrow Road.

The life-long Liverpool fan admitted a public order offence and going onto the pitch.

He was fined £150 for the public order offence and made to pay £85 costs.

Do you have a crime story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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