A group of thugs who abused police and forced their way into Old Trafford as a protest turned violent were told they are a ‘disgrace’ to Manchester United. Another group of men were sentenced for their roles in widespread disorder ahead of the Premier League fixture between United and Liverpool in May last year.
The game was postponed on safety advice after up to 2,000 fans congregated outside the stadium, for what were initially peaceful demonstrations against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club. But the protest soon turned violent and 40 people have pleaded guilty to violent disorder in relation to the ugly scenes.
Protestors forced their way into Old Trafford and dozens made it onto the pitch. On Friday, five more men were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to violent disorder.
Michael Pollard, a 39-year-old married dad-of-two, of Radnormere Drive, Cheadle, threw a bottle in the direction of police and behaved ‘aggressively’ towards officers. His barrister said he has since given up drinking.
Joshua Smethurst, 26, of Saxon Close, Bury, a mortgage advisor who lost his job following his conviction, made it onto the pitch and forced his way into one of the changing rooms. His lawyer said he’d sent a letter to United to apologise for his behaviour.
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