A postman who was photographed kicking a Turkish football fan who was on his hands and knees during clashes at last year's Uefa Cup final claimed yesterday that he was acting in self-defence.
Tom Doherty, giving evidence at an industrial tribunal where he is claiming unfair dismissal against the Royal Mail, said he recognised the Turk as one of the ringleaders of earlier violence.
Mr Doherty was sacked because of his apparent role in the violence before a match between Arsenal and Galatasaray in Copenhagen.
Mr Doherty, 22, of Holloway, north London, told the central London Employment Tribunal that he was looking after 40 Arsenal fans as part of his work as a steward. A group of Turks approached the bar where fans had been drinking.
Mr Doherty said a Turk he had seen wielding a knife was on his hands and knees. "Concerned for my safety because of his knife, I kicked him. I regret this," he said.
The hearing was adjourned until today.Reuse content