Pitch invader escapes football banning order after court hears he is in the RAF
PUBLISHED: 17:18 17 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:49 22 April 2018
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A pitch invader who ran onto the field and dropped his trousers at Carrow Road has escaped a football banning order after a court heard he is in the RAF.
Harry Abrey scaled the perimeter fence during the match against Nottingham Forest on March 6 and ran the length of the pitch before dropping his trousers and making the return journey to be arrested.
The 21-year-old, who is based at RAF Honington, told police the escapade had been “a dare”, admitting it was stupid.
Prosecutor Rachel Cushing told Norwich Magistrates Court on Tuesday: “Mr Abrey was sat with the away fans and was seen by a police officer working as a spotter to enter the pitch during the course of play.”
She added: “When he was stopped and arrested he said ‘it was a dare, I am in the forces’.
“He was taken into custody where he admitted climbing over the safety perimeter fence and running up the length of the pitch.
“He couldn’t remember pulling his trousers down. He reiterated it was a dare, a bit of banter. He was drunk and it was stupid really.
“He realised it was a bit of a stupid decision that he made. Clearly running onto the pitch has in the past led to all sorts of disorder at football matches.”
Ms Cushing also asked for a football banning order for Abrey, due to the risk of disorder.
But magistrates deemed the order was unnecessary because they believed it had been a “one-off”.
Representing himself, Abrey said: “I just want to clarify with the banning order that they would take away my passport because I am in the air force and go away a lot with taskings.
“I never really go to football matches abroad and that would affect my career big time.”
Abrey was told the court had decided against the banning order because it was “not necessary”.
The bench said they did not believe further offending would take place. The bench also accepted the effect losing his passport would have on his career.
As he left court, one of the magistrates told him: “I was there and that’s exactly how it happened. Right in front of me.”
Abrey, of Sutton Coldfield, was fined £120, with a victim surcharge of £30 and £80 costs.