Football banning order for Bradford City fan who headbutted rail worker

A Bradford City fan who headbutted an off-duty rail employee has been given a 12 month suspended jail sentence and banned from attending any game for three years following a British Transport Police investigation.

Paul Whitehead

Paul Whitehead, 41, of Hillcrest Avenue, Queensbury, Bradford, received the three year football banning order at Sheffield Crown Court for the attack, which resulted in his victim having his two front teeth broken.

Whitehead had been returning by train from Bradford City’s game against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, just before 10.30pm on Friday April 3,

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He was one of a group of disorderly fans approached by an off duty Virgin Trains East Coast staff member who asked them to calm down.

Whitehead first threatened his victim before headbutting him in the face.

He was later arrested by British Transport Police officers who were escorting the train on its journey.

Whitehead was handed a 12-month prison sentence - suspended for two years - 120 hours of unpaid work and 40 hours of anger management.

He must pay £2,500 compensation to his victim. He was also issued with a three year football banning order, which severely restricts his use of the railway.

Supt John Conaghan of British Transport Police, said: “This was a serious and unprovoked attack on an innocent man and this is reflected in the sentence of the court.

“This type of drunken loutish behaviour by a minority of football fans is completely unacceptable.

“This can be very intimidating and distressing for other passengers and discredits the majority of well behaved football fans who travel by train every weekend. British Transport Police has a renewed focus on tackling football related violence and disorder as the new season begins and we will pursue those who engage in this type of behaviour to ensure they are excluded from travelling by rail and banned from attending future matches.

“We are fully committed to addressing this issue and would encourage anyone witnessing such incidents to report them to us, either by telephone on 0800 40 50 40, or by text on 61016. In an emergency call 999.”