Football hooligan given suspended sentence

An Exmouth football hooligan has been given a suspended prison sentence after attacking rival fans.

Exeter Crown Court heard Darren Bolt, 24, of Salisbury Road, was part of a group of around 25 Exeter City hooligans who attacked three Huddersfield Town fans and one Plymouth Argyle fan in Exeter city centre on May 8 last year.

The Exeter fans had congregated outside the Ship Inn in Exeter’s High Street because they believed Huddersfield fans were drinking inside.

Finding that the Huddersfield fans had left the pub, the group moved away along the High Street, which was crowded with weekend shoppers.

The court was told the Exeter fans then came across what they believed was a group of four Huddersfield fans and launched a violent attack.

A swift police response saw the Exeter fans flee the scene, but the incident had been caught on CCTV cameras, which enabled the police to identify Bolt and six other hooligans, who were charged with offences.

Bolt, who could be seen on the CCTV footage throwing punches at the rival fans, pleaded guilty to affray.

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He was sentenced this week to 10 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was also ordered to complete 220 hours of community service. He was also banned from attending football matches for six years.

The judge said that Bolt had only escaped an immediate jail term because of his early guilty plea and previous good character.

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