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Balaclava-clad Everton hooligans storm Liverpool FC fan pub sparking mass brawl
April 26, 2023
A pair of football hooligans started a massive matchday brawl at a pub by hurling chairs and throwing punches at rival fans, a court has heard.
Thomas Keane, 28, and John Murray, 32, both pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to one count of affray after an altercation following the Liverpool Fc and Everton match at Anfield on April 24, 2022.
CCTV footage showed Everton fans, including Keane and Murray, donning black balaclavas and heading en masse to St Hilda pub on Walton Road, a favourite pub of Liverpool FC fans.
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The large group of balaclava-wearing fans made their way inside the pub, where they attacked people, with one man beating patrons with a walking stick.
Keane was captured on CCTV throwing chairs at supporters and trying to punch an unnamed person while Murray remained outside, but threw something at the door of the property.
Men were seen fighting outside of the pub, with two groups crashing into one another and one 17-year-old since sentenced for the exterior altercation.
Iain Criddle, prosecuting, said: "The defendants are Everton fans and attacked people in the pub because of their allegiance to a football team."
Prosecutor Criddle noted that Keane and Murray had been seen by officers in a "walk-up" before the pub altercation which saw those inside the pub push the attacking group back out onto the streets.
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Keane has no previous convictions while Murray has one previous for affray in 2017 for another football-related incident at a game between Newcastle and Everton, receiving eight months, suspended for 24, and a three-year ban from attending football matches.
David Travers, defending Keane, said his client had been abusing alcohol and cocaine at the time of the group attack and his client had "appalled himself" and "fully accepts how stressful" the incident was.
Carmel Wilde, representing Murray, said his client had been "drinking too early" which acted as a "trigger" for the violent conduct, and it "probably didn't help that Liverpool won 2-0 that day" but noted that was "not an excuse."
Both men were known previously to associate with "risk supporters" and have since been sentenced for their part in the altercation last year.
Judge Stuart Driver dismissed claims from Keane's representation that the 28-year-old became involved in the attack as a passer-by.
Judge Driver said: "Like everybody I saw, he chose to form part of a large aggressive group that committed an affray. What the defendants need to understand is this is a group offence and they are all, to some extent, responsible for what the group did.
"The court will also take into account the overall behaviour and the impact of the group which you deliberately aligned yourself with. This was sustained violence and one of the group had a weapon."
Keane received 10 month imprisonment, suspended for 18 months as well as a three year ban from attending games.
Murray received eight months immediate imprisonment as well as a banning order keeping him away from games for the next six years.
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