Southend fan fined for being drunk at King's Lynn game
- Credit: Chris Bishop
A football fan has been fined after admitting being drunk at a game.
But Southend United supporter Adrian Coates avoided receiving a Football Banning Order because a court was “not convinced” that he was involved in disorder.
Coates had been at The Walks on August 21 where his team beat King's Lynn Town 1-0 in the sides’ opening National League match of the season.
The 54-year-old said, when he appeared before King's Lynn magistrates, it had been his first day out in more than three years after suffering a broken neck.
Prosecutor Ashley Petchey said Coates had been arrested at 4.30pm after he’d twice been seen close to disorder between fans during the match. His heavy drinking had started before kick-off.
Mr Petchey said: “[Police] officers attended the Lord Napier pub prior to the game and saw a man they later learned was Mr Coates. He appeared to be unsteady.
“He was seen to drink a number of pints outside."
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The court was told that 20 minutes into the match one of the officers saw Coates having an argument with another person. During the second half the sergeant was then sent to a disturbance in a bar area for home fans.
Coates was escorted to the entrance of the stadium. Mr Petchey said he was unsteady on his feet, his eyes were glazed and he smelt of liquor.
Coates was arrested for being drunk in a sports ground.
The Crown Prosecution Service applied for a Football Banning Order, which prevents a person from attending any stadia for a period of between three and five years.
Coates, defending himself, told magistrates the order would be “a bit extreme”.
He added: “I don’t deny I had too much to drink. I’m on a heavy prescription for medication because I broke my neck in 2018. I hadn’t been out for three-and-a-half years.
“I wasn’t involved in any trouble.”
Dismissing the application for the banning order, the bench chairman told him: “We are not convinced you were involved in any great fracas or violence on the day. Let this be a warning shot across the bow.”
Coates, of Olwyk, Basildon, Essex, was fined £120 and ordered to pay £55 costs and £34 victim surcharge.