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Three football hooligans sentenced over Shrewsbury fighting

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Three men involved in fighting between rival football fans in the centre of Shrewsbury have been given suspended prison sentences.

Stephen Leonard, 51, and his 28-year-old son, also Stephen, and Ben Edwards, 26, were all seen on CCTV footage during the disturbances in October, 2012.

All three, from Walsall, were seen throwing punches, gesturing and baiting rival fans during clashes between groups of Shrewsbury Town and Walsall supporters.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterdayJudge Peter Barrie said the incidentshad been a "serious episode" of disorder.

Edwards was given a 30-week sentence suspended for two years and must complete 200 hours unpaid work and be subject to a monitored curfew for the next 12 weeks. He must pay £800 towards court costs and was made the subject of a five year football banning order.

Stephen Leonard senior and his son were each given 20-week prison sentences suspended for 12 months ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work. Both must pay £500 towards the costs and given football banning orders for four years.

Edwards, of Roebuck Road, Stephen Leonard senior, of Kent Street, and Stephen Leonard junior, of Roebuck Road, had all admitted charges of violent disorder. The court heard they were among 30 people charged in connection with the violence of which 26 had already been sentenced. One man awaits trial. Roberts Edwards, prosecuting, said the clashes occurred in the vicinity of the Shrewsbury Hotel and the Kings Head pubs in Mardol and Smithfield Road around 1pm on October 14, 2012.

Ben Edwards was seen in fist fights with a number of people and had punched another man and Leonard senior had been involved in two fights, had thrown an advertising board and had been baiting rival fans.

Leonard junior was seen in Mardol in a confrontation with Shrewsbury fans and threw three punches at an unidentified man and at another man who had been sentenced.

The court heard all three men were not regular football fans, who had joined an organised coach trip from Bloxwich to Shrewsbury on the day of the match, had been drinking.

Edwards, who has a long record of violence including wounding and assaults, was said to have become involved because he believed his father, Michael Edwards, had been attacked by rival fans.Leonard junior also said he had seen his father being confronted by Shrewsbury Town fans.

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