Pitch invader who then assaulted teenager after Oxford United vs Sunderland AFC match given football banning order

A teenager who assaulted a man after Sunderland's away match against Oxford last season has been given a five-year football banning order.

Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 7:00 am
Matthew Simms admitted attacking a 19-year-old following the Oxford v Sunderland match at the Kassam Stadium in February. Image copyright Google Maps.

Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, Matthew Simms has been sentenced for assault and pitch invading.

The 18-year-old, of Pegasus Road, Oxford, pleaded guilty to one count of assault and one count of pitch encroachment at Oxford Magistrates’ Court.

He was given a 12-month community order with 90 hours of unpaid work, along with £125 compensation and £350 costs for the assault.

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For the pitch encroachment he was fined £190, must pay £350 costs and £85 surcharge, and was given a five-year football banning order.

The charges relate to two incidents which took place when Oxford United played football matches against Cheltenham Town, in Cheltenham, on Tuesday, January 8, this year, and Sunderland, in Oxford on Saturday, February 9.

On January 8, following the end of the match, Simms ran onto the pitch, an offence under the Football Offences Act 1991.

Then on February 9, following Sunderland’s 1-1 draw at the Kassam Stadium in the League One fixture, Simms assaulted a 19-year-old man in St Nicholas Road, Oxford.

Simms was charged with the assault on June 13 this year, then charged with the pitch encroachment the next day.

Inspector Matthew Sulley, of the Joint Operations Unit of Thames Valley Police, said: “We are very pleased with this sentence and hope that it acts as a strong deterrent for anyone who participates in such behaviour.

“These types of offences can have an impact on the thousands of people who attend football matches on a regular basis and enjoy themselves responsibly with friends and family.

“The incident of assault would have been distressing for the number of people who would have witnessed it among the supporter community, as well as being a terrifying experience for the victim himself.

“This sentence demonstrates that police will deal robustly with those who commit crime at football matches, and we will always seek a sentence through the courts.

“Thames Valley Police is committed to helping the clubs in our force area to keep those who commit crime away from the grounds, to ensure that supports can enjoy the events.”