Hooligan jailed for 16 weeks for goalkeeper attack
A football hooligan was jailed for 16 weeks Monday for
assaulting a goalkeeper during an English league game following an
all-day drinking binge.
Aaron Cawley, a 21-year-old from Cheltenham, told police he was
so intoxicated after drinking a mix of lager, cider and vodka that
he doesn’t remember joining a pitch invasion and shoving former
England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland in the face during Sheffield
Wednesday’s match against Leeds on Friday.
Cawley, a Leeds fans, pleaded guilty Monday to charges of
assault and entering the field of play when he appeared at
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court. He received a six-year banning order
from football grounds – the third time he has been handed such a
Leeds said it will ban Cawley for life from the team’s Elland
Road ground once the banning order expires, but felt the sentence
was too lenient.
”While we are pleased to see justice brought so quickly, our
one disappointment is that we feel the sentence could, and should,
have been considerably longer,” Leeds said in a statement.
Kirkland, who plays for Wednesday and won his one cap for
England in 2006, needed medical treatment after being knocked to
the ground by Cawley amid violent scenes at Hillsborough, which was
all broadcast live on British television. Kirkland told police it
was like he had been ”hit by a ton of bricks.”
The Football Association has launched an investigation into the
crowd trouble at the game, which also saw bottles being thrown onto
the pitch and offensive chanting from both sets of fans.
Prosecutors said Cawley, an unemployed laborer, told police
officers he had consumed several cans of lager and three-quarters
of a liter of vodka before he had arrived in Sheffield by train. He
said he then drank as many as 10 pints of cider before the match
Judge Naomi Redhouse was told that Cawley, who has breached his
football banning orders four times, only realized what he had done
when other people told him and he saw himself on TV. He immediately
made contact with police.