Fan guilty of assault on a security man

A life-long Glenavon fan was barred from Mourneview Park after an incident during a match when a security man was assaulted, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.

Fifty six year old Alister Beattie Carson, of Woodford Park, Lurgan, denied the assault charge but was convicted after the Deputy District Judge heard the evidence.

For the offence he was fined £50 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim.

The court heard the assault happened during the Irish Cup match between Glenavon and Portadown at Mourneview Park on January 14 last year.

Mr Andrew McQuillan, of Select Management Security, said he was on duty that day and members of staff were checking flags at the Crescent Stand.

Two males approached with a flag which was deemed to be prohibited and a melee started. CCTV footage played in court showed the flag being erected and the scuffle breaking out.

The witness saw a man in a brown coat approach them and he thought he was there to help. He claimed this man punched him on the jaw.

Another security man, Mr Mark Steele, said he saw the older gentleman in the brown jacket and he thought he looked quite angry and upset.

He added that he saw his colleague being struck by this man, saying he hit him with a closed fist on the face.

In his evidence the defendant said he had been a Glenavon fan all his life. He had been vice-chairman and treasurer of the Victoria Supporters Club, a bus steward and did voluntary work around the club including selling lottery tickets.

He said he became aware of a fracas and he saw his son Robin in it so he went to grab him. He put his arm around his son who fell over him and he ended up on the floor.

Carson denied the allegation of assault saying it was totally untrue. “I never swung a punch at anyone that day,” he added.

He said he had not been to a Glenavon game since because he had been barred pending the investigation.

“I feel very said about it. I’ve been a life-long supporter of Glenavon,” he added.

Mr Robin Carson said he and his brother brought the flag into the ground. There was a bit of a ruckus and when his dad grabbed him they both fell to the ground. There were no punches thrown.

Another defence witness, Mr David Guiseley, said he “never saw Alister throw a punch.”

Deputy District Judge Marshall said she accepted the evidence of the prosecution and convicted the defendant of assault.

An application for a football banning order was made by the prosecutor but the judge refused this saying it was up to the club to decide.