Chelsea fan Jamie Greenwood loses appeal over Swansea smoke grenade
13 Feb 2013
A Chelsea fan caught taking a smoke grenade into Swansea’s Liberty Stadium for his club’s Capital One Cup semi-final clash against the Swans today lost his appeal against a 28-day jail sentence.
At Swansea Crown Court, Jamie Greenwood, 26, of Cherwell House, London, also lost his appeal against a six year football banning order imposed for the offence.
Turning down the appeal, Judge Paul Thomas sitting with two magistrates told Greenwood: “You accept, as we feel you must, that what you did was utterly foolish but more importantly it was potentially very dangerous.
“It was not going to be let off in the middle of a field but in a confined situation that could have caused a great deal of panic.”
The judge added the authorities in charge of football matches had to keep public safety in the foremost of their minds because of “well publicised tragedies involving football stadiums”.
He said:“The sentence in this case was justified and appropriate.”
Jamie Greenwood and his cousin Harry Greenwood, 19, of Bernhardt Crescent, London, were both given a month’s jail and a six year ban from watching football by Swansea Magistrates last month for possessing Enola Gay make twist-top smoke grenades at the match.
It ended goalless but Swansea progressed to this month’s Capital One Cup Final having won the first leg at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.
Possession of the grenade was an offence under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc) Act 1985.
Chelsea have revoked the pair’s season tickets.
Helen Randall, for Jamie Greenwood, argued the smoke grenade was at the “bottom end” of the list of devices supporters were banned from taking into stadiums.
Prosecutor Catrin Jenkins said the grenade was discovered by a match day steward who “patted down” Jamie Greenwood as he made his way into the ground.
He told a police officer who was called to the scene it was “a stupid thing to do”.
Police later found a second grenade in a Volkswagen van Greenwood had driven to the match.
He admitted buying three grenades at a shop in Camden, London, before travelling to Swansea.
He said he did not know what happened to the third grenade.
Miss Randall said: “He intended to let off the smoke in celebration if Chelsea scored a goal.
“He was not aggressive or violent to the steward or the police and in my submission he was polite and co-operative at all times.
“He’s attended football matches since a child and has not been involved in any incidents.
“This conviction has shaken him considerably and he deeply regrets his actions and regrets the potential consequences to those attending the match.
“He is extremely unlikely to offend again.
“It was not his intention to cause violence or disorder. He intended to let the smoke off while holding the device in his hand, not throwing it into another part of the ground.
“It was a manifestly excessive sentence in view of the nature of the offence and the nature of the device.
“A community order would have been more appropriate.”
But Judge Thomas told Greenwood: “I’m sure with the benefit of hindsight you are as appalled by what you did as are others.
“We see no reason to vary the sentence and the appeal fails.”
After the original sentence, South Wales Police Superintendent Phil Davies said: “The behaviour of these Chelsea fans was totally irresponsible and I am pleased that they were arrested and put before the courts following a proactive policing operation.
“The football banning orders made by the court will be enforced by police forces to ensure the vast majority of fans who are well behaved will be able to enjoy matches in a safe environment.”
Both Jamie and Harry Greenwood walked free from court today, their jail sentences having expired.
Source: Wales Online