It’s an early bath for Jordan Dunn as on 1 September 2014 he pleaded guilty to invading a football pitch and received a fine for his troubles. Details can be seen on the BBC website here.
There’s not really any dispute as to what happened – it’s all here on TV.
During a Premier League match between West Ham and Tottenham, a free kick was awarded to Tottenham when it all got a bit much for young Mr Dunn. Aged just 22, it seems all the blood rushed to his head (and having consumed six – so he says – pints of beer prior to the game) he burst onto the pitch and ran the length of the field towards the West Ham goal.
The ball was lined up ready for Tottenham to take the free kick when Dunn, seizing his opportunity, ran at the ball and curled it around the wall. His effort was saved by West Ham’s goal keeper. The crowd cheered. He was then apprehended by six stewards who proceeded to drag him to the floor, sit on him for a little bit and drag him away. The crowd booed.
The judge commented that “I understand that the professional footballer who followed you did not do any better.” The judge also said it was a “small mercy” that Dunn had “decided to remain fully clothed”.
Well Dunn apologised and said it had been his dream to “run on the pitch and kick the ball” – one wonders what is next on his bucket list.
The offence is under Football (Offences) Act 1991 s.4 which states:
It is an offence for a person at a designated football match to go onto the playing area, or any area adjacent to the playing area to which spectators are not generally admitted, without lawful authority or lawful excuse (which shall be for him to prove).
Section 1 of the Act gives the Secretary of State the power to make secondary legislation stating which games are “designated matches” for the purposes of the offence. Surprise surprise…a Premier League game is one of them.
By section 5, the maximum sentence is a level 3 fine – currently £2,500.
He received a fine of £305. We don’t know whether he was also ordered to pay any costs, but it is likely. Additionally, he should have been ordered to pay the victim surcharge which, as he was sentenced to a fine, is 10% of that fine, rounded up or down, and so it is likely to have been made in the sum of £30.
As is usual with fines, it is difficult to assess whether this is lenient or harsh as reference has to be made to the means of the offender – which of course, we are not privy to. However, it seems that a slap on the wrist and being hit in the pocket is just punishment for what was a few moments of silliness.