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Aston Villa fan stormed pitch and tried to punch stewards after disallowed late goal, court hears

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A lifelong Aston Villa fan stormed the pitch and lashed out at the stewards after a referee disallowed his team’s late equalizer, a court heard.

Mitchell Voss, 26, was furious when Henri Lansbury’s attempt was disallowed and captain Jack Grealish was shown a yellow card for diving ahead of the Crystal Palace game at Selhurst Park.

He was seen punching before falling, staggering to his feet and gesturing to Palace fans.

But Voss was spared a football ban after telling the court he was drunk and apologizing to Croydon court.

Mitchell Voss, 26, (pictured) was furious when Henri Lansbury’s attempt was disallowed and captain Jack Grealish was shown a yellow card for diving ahead of the Crystal Palace game at Selhurst Park

Alex Alawode, the prosecutor, told the court: “The defendant is being convicted of a brawl issue, which now dates back about two years to August 31, 2019.

“There was a football match between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa at Crystal Palace’s home ground in Selhurst Park.

It was just 5pm, the game was drawing to a close and Aston Villa lost before a goal was scored to equalize but the referee ruled out the goal.

Aston Villa fans are described as rushing forward to celebrate the goal.

“Stewards are then described as coming forward to try to push the crowd back.

When the goal was disallowed, it was noted that the celebrations quickly turned to fury, with stewards allegedly attacked by members of the crowd.

“Members of the crowd have been described as pushing and bumping in different directions and the police had to be called in to break people up.

“The incident was captured on CCTV footage.

“Camera images show the suspect running towards the incident. He is described as his weight forward and his hands can be seen in a thrusting motion with his fists.

“It’s not entirely clear if he’s actually making contact with anyone.

“Then it is described that he falls over before he gets up again. He yells and is aggressive towards the stewards present.

“It is described that he stays in the area for some time and makes gestures to the opponents.

During the interrogation, the defendant confessed. He was drunk at the time, but he knew his actions were wrong.”

Magistrate Alan Hutchings asked Mr Voss what he thought of his actions.

Voss, from Sandwell, West Midlands, said: ‘Of course I’m quite disappointed in myself.

“It was alcohol related and this is not how I would normally behave.

Voss was spared a football ban after telling court he was drunk and apologized to Croydon court (pictured)

Voss was spared a football ban after telling court he was drunk and apologized to Croydon court (pictured)

“I’ve been an Aston Villa fan all my life. I used to go to competitions with family and since I was 15 or 16 I have been traveling around the country on my own.

“I take my kids to games. It was totally out of character and I’m very sorry for the offense I caused.”

Voss was one of seven men identified via CCTV footage charged with a brawl as a result of the altercation.

All seven defendants were initially charged with the more serious crime of violent disorder before the prosecutors accepted their pleas.

The court heard that the other defendants had each been banned from football for three years.

Mr Voss was not given the same order and Mr Hutchings said: ‘As for the football ban, we have given it some serious thought.

“We have decided not to issue the order.

“The reasons for this are that we cannot see any previous fouls related to the football disorder and we believe you are truly sorry for this incident, so I wanted to hear it from you myself rather than through your lawyer.

“We came very close to being awarded and we’ve given it some serious thought.

“However, this offense is serious enough for us to issue a Community injunction. This will take 12 months.’

Mr Voss was sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay a total of £180 in costs.

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