Football banning order imposed on father and son after assault conviction
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Two men have been issued with football banning orders after admitting their roles in an assault outside the American Express Stadium in Brighton.
Brighton and Hove Albion stewards responded to a disturbance in the North Stand during a fixture.
Four men were ejected from the stadium.
This included Stephen Staplehurst, 41, and his son Kenan Staplehurst, 23.
Instead of leaving the stadium area, they waited behind fencing outside and when the other two men were later removed, they confronted and assaulted one of the men.
The victim suffered a broken nose and broken cheek bone after being assaulted by the Staplehursts.
At Lewes Crown Court on August 24, both men admitted causing grievous bodily harm without intent under Section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act.
The court was told how the incident happened at about 6.40pm on October 20, 2021.
It followed a fracas inside the North Stand which caused concern for other Albion supporters who had to avoid becoming involved.
After the groups had been separated, Kenan was recorded saying he wanted to take revenge on the other two men.
It was noted that he was “irate” and said: “'If I see them outside, I will clean them right out.”
The court ordered Stephen Staplehurst, a builder of Penfold Road, Broadwater, Worthing, and Kenan Staplehurst, a labourer of Dale Avenue, Hassocks, to complete 100 hours of unpaid work as part of an 18-month suspended prison sentence.
They were ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) sessions, pay £100 compensation and £500 court costs.
The court also imposed a five-year Football Banning Order on both men, which bans them from attending any professional match in England and restricts their travel movements at the time of Brighton and Hove Albion matches.
Speaking after the case, Sussex Police’s Dedicated Football Officer PC Darren Balkham said: “The behaviour of the Staplehursts was appalling. They had been warned to leave the stadium area, but instead they carried out a further violent assault on one of the men.
“This ugly behaviour is not welcome in our beautiful game, and they are both now banned from attending professional football matches.
“It demonstrates our determination to catch offenders and ensure that the vast majority of football supporters can attend matches safely and enjoy the game free of violence.”
A Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club spokesperson said: “The club would like to thank Sussex Police for their support in reaching this outcome.
"We do not tolerate violent behaviour and will do everything in its power to ensure the American Express Stadium remains a safe and enjoyable place for all supporters.
"We do not wish to be associated with these two individuals and therefore they will be banned indefinitely from Albion matches, in addition to the court-imposed five-year banning order.”