Fan who threw coin at Norwich match escapes football grounds ban

Todd Cantwell of Norwich has a shot on goal that is well saved by Dean Henderson of Sheffield United

Todd Cantwell of Norwich has a shot on goal that is well saved by Dean Henderson of Sheffield United who celebrates his moment with the Sheffield United fans during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

An away fan has escaped a football ban after admitting throwing a coin at Carrow Road before Norwich's Premier League clash with Sheffield United.

George Wilkins, 19, was among the away fans at Carrow Road during City's 2-1 defeat to The Blades on December 8 last year.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard that prior to the match Wilkins was "seen to throw something in the crowd" which was caught on CCTV.

Emma Wright, prosecuting, said the police officer monitoring CCTV at the game alerted an officer who went and arrested the defendant.

Miss Wright said Wilkins made full admissions in interview and said he "threw a coin on the air" and had been "acting like an idiot".

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She said he told officers he did not know why he did it but knew he was in the wrong.

Wilkins, from Sheffield, appeared before city magistrates on Tuesday (January 28) when he pleaded guilty to the offence of throwing a missile.

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Representing himself in court Wilkins said: "It was just an act of stupidity.

"I was just with the wrong sort of people.

"They were just trying to make an idiot of me.

"I threw it up in the air."

Following his conviction the prosecution applied for a three-year football banning order - which, if imposed, would have prohibited him from attending any football matches in England or Wales for the next three years.

But Richard Mann, who represented Wilkins in regard to the application for a banning order, opposed the order.

He said if there was anyone who was not going to cause problems at a football match in the future then it would be this defendant.

Mr Mann said Wilkins, who was a massive football fan and followed his team home and away, had no previous convictions for violence.

He said his family was very upset by his involvement in the offence but insisted Wilkins would not "follow the flock" and get involved in this sort of thing again.

Wilkins was fined £170 for the offence and ordered to pay £85 costs as well as a £32 victim surcharge.

However magistrates did not impose a football banning order.

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