Teen who set off flare at Hull City match given football banning order
A 16-YEAR-OLD boy has become one of the youngest Hull City fans to receive a football banning order.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was with Richard Whiting, 25, of Hull, when they set off a flare in the crowd during an away match against Millwall last month.
At Bromley Magistrates' Court in London, the pair were handed the bans, which means they cannot watch the Tigers for three years.
Another fan has also been banned this week as part of a civic order as police continue to stamp out trouble at matches.
Football liaison manager Karl Corcoran organises the football spotters at games to identify trouble-makers.
He said: "The pair let off a flare at the Millwall game, dropping it in among the fans. They were both identified on CCTV.
"For the young lad, he can now reflect on what he has done and stay away from football and those he was hanging around with.
"The judge at Bromley Magistrates' Court quite rightly treated the offence seriously and both were given the three-year banning orders."
PC Corcoran believes the use of pyrotechnics is a serious issue, with the devastating affect of fires in stadiums illustrated after the blaze at Bradford City's Valley Parade in 1985, when 56 people died and more than 260 people were injured.
He said: "Since the Popplewell Report into this disaster, many improvements have been made in fire safety for stadia across the country.
"This high level of safety and risk management is being compromised by the current trend for supporters to discharge pyrotechnics.
"A small section of Hull City fans are responsible for letting off smoke bombs at ten away games this season.
"The consequences associated with flares and other such pyrotechnics are wide- ranging, however all have the potential to cause injury, not just to the person using the device but to those nearby."
He said flares generate intense heat, with a high risk of causing burning.
"As the heat source is intense, the burns can be serious," said PC Corcoran.
"Smoke inhalation may cause respiratory issues for supporters in the vicinity of a smoke bomb being discharged and some supporters may panic and injuries may result from people moving away from discharged devices."
This week, another fan received a three-year banning order through the civil court.
Known as an "on-complaint banning order", Scott Russell, 23, of Hull, was banned after consistently being associated with trouble without committing a specific offence.
He is not allowed to go within one and a half miles of the KC Stadium four hours before kick-off and two hours afterwards.
PC Corcoran said: "Russell has been associating with the risk group and getting involved in their activities for many years. The banning order will remove him from the group.
"His family is very supportive of the banning order and feel it will have a positive effect on Scott in terms of how he has recently sorted his life out and moved on.
"He has a full-time job and hasn't been involved in any criminal activity outside of match days."
There are football spotters for each professional club who can pick out individuals who are breaching a banning order. There are usually two spotters from each club.
Currently, 56 Hull City fans are subject to banning orders.