Football fans jailed over Manchester rampage
Friday 03 September 2010
All but one of 12 rioting football hooligans who took part in the worst destruction Manchester has suffered "since the blitz" will be going to jail, a judge said today.
They were among hundreds of Rangers fans who caused "mayhem" at the Uefa Cup final held in the city two years ago.
Police were attacked and property damaged in the hours of violence in the city centre, and two police officers - Mick Regan and John Goodwin - were caught by the mob, surrounded and battered.
Judge Andrew Blake had indicated 11 of the 12 were going to jail and had sentenced eight of the defendants before a fire alarm caused Manchester Crown Court to be evacuated temporarily.
Several defendants put thumbs up to weeping relatives in the public gallery as they were led down to the cells.
But then Scots accents could be heard shouting up to the courtroom: "F*** Manchester! F*** Pc Regan and Goodwin as well!"
Passing sentence Judge Andrew Blake said: "The riot police were deployed in full riot gear and struggled to contain the trouble and restore order.
"What followed was the worst night of violence and destruction suffered by Manchester city centre since the blitz.
"What came afterwards, the damage, the filth and litter was apparent to all who arrived in Manchester the following day.
"Many more than these 12 were involved. It had nothing to do with football rivalries but everything to do with drink.
"The anger of the mob was directed at the police doing their best to restore order."
There were audible gasps from the public gallery as he jailed Scott McSeveney for three and a half years for violent disorder and the assault on Pc John Goodwin.
Pc Goodwin was separated from his detachment, outnumbered by tens of fans and attacked.
Brought to the ground he was stamped on and kicked and said later he thought of tragic fellow officer Keith Blakelock and thought he was going to die at the hands of the mob.
He was only saved after a Rangers fan, Sharon Gibson, lay across him and her boyfriend shouted: "You are letting the team down!"
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