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PRISON = 14 WEEKS
10 YEAR FOOTBALL BANNING ORDER
LIFE BAN FROM BLUES
£100 COMPENSATION TO GREALISH
Does the punishment fit the crime?
Birmingham Magistrates Court today handed down a sentence to the Paul Mitchell, the Birmingham City fan who ran on and assaulted Jack Grealish during the second city derby.
Mitchell pleaded guilty and was reported to have reacted with surprise when advised that he would be banned not just from football for ten years, but from Blues for life.
Sentencing was in relation to charges of pitch invasion and assault.
Birmingham City were quick to acknowledge the outcome of the hearing, welcoming the outcome. Blues will certainly be concerned about broader penalties, yet to be determined, expected to be handed down swiftly from the footballing authorities. It’s widely thought that a combination of fines, behind closed doors games and points deductions will be applied.
This is addition to whatever comes of a West Midlands Police inquiry, opened today, in response to a range of incidents that occurred across derby day.
Further scrutiny is rightly expected of vile social media posts, the actions of a Birmingham City steward and audible racist remarks directed at a Villa player, captured on video recorded inside the ground.
Mitchell informed the court that he had attended the game with his father, had not been drunk and stated that he’d entered the field of play as a ‘joke’.
In statements, Grealish make reference to the unprovoked nature of the attack and that he felt fortunate that the incident had not been more serious.
The unemployed former publican, was watched from the public areas by press and family. Further, the Blues supporter has a young child and a pregnant partner, further underlining the senseless nature of the attack.
Reference was made by Mitchell’s solicitor that the family had been forced to move out of Birmingham in the after-math, owing to threats received, an unsavoury element that this blog does not endorse nor condone.
Mitchell is expected to see out his 14 week sentence in its entirety.
Watch: Jack Grealish assaulted by Paul Mitchell.
Watch: Blues steward led away by Police after incident following goal.
Learn: Global outrage to an “unprecedented” incident in English football.