Ex-football manager Gary Brabin cleared of assault charges

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A former Luton Town manager has been cleared of attacking stewards during a match against York City last season.

Gary Brabin, 41, stood trial at Selby Magistrates’ Court this week accused of two counts of assault against stewards Simon Oliver and Paul Lovatt on April 19 last year during the team’s 1-0 defeat away at York.

Yesterday he was acquitted of the assault charges but was found guilty of using threatening words and behaviour.

He had been accused of punching and butting York steward Mr Oliver and punching the second steward, Mr Lovatt.

He said he was shouting at the referee when York’s assistant manager Darron Gee shouted abuse at him. He claimed he was “man-handled” down the tunnel and denied punching or headbutting anyone.

Brabin was fined £400 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £900 and a victim surcharge of £15 by district judge Jonathan Bennett.

The judge ruled that evidence, including CCTV footage, did not prove the allegations of assault. He said it was clear however that the defendant used threatening words and behaviour during the incident.

Brabin, of Liverpool, giving evidence on Thursday, told the court he admitted losing his cool.

He said: “My emotions were high at the time and I didn’t feel my players on the pitch were being given the proper protection from the referee.

“We all have our ups and downs in football but I try to avoid confrontations with other technical areas as much as possible but I admit I lost my composure for a while this time.”

He said: “I feared the worst when the fourth official went to speak with the ref.

“I thought the pair of us would be sent off and was shocked when it was just me.

“I admit that after that I asked the fourth official ‘why only me?’ I fully intended to leave the pitch and did not want to go into York’s technical area but before I did I wanted to get the last word in with Darron.”

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