A FOOTBALL fan twice kicked out at a police officer on a train at Wrexham General Station, a court has heard.
Craig Haughton-Ashton, 18, of Chevington, Heaton Mersey, Stockport, appeared before Wrexham Magistrates Court on Friday where he pleaded guilty to assaulting a constable in the execution of his duty.
Justin Espie, prosecuting, told the court that on February 9 at 2.45pm PC Wilberforce, an officer with the British Transport Police, was at the station to prevent football-related disorder after Wrexham’s home game against Stockport County.
The officer was on his own and was standing between the front and back two carriages of the train to ensure County fans followed arrangements to stay in the back two carriages of the train.
Provisions had been made for non-football fans to travel in the front two carriages.
While PC Wiberforce was explaining the arrangements to another Stockport fan, the defendant appeared.
Mr Espie said: “At that point the defendant approached and decided he wasn’t going to comply.
“He lunged forward trying to push past, but the officer prevented him by placing a hand on his chest.
“The defendant then kicked out, striking the officer on the shin and then raked his foot down the officer’s shin.
“The officer pushed the defendant back and as he tried to grab hold of him, he was stopped by the defendant’s friends.
“During the struggle, the defendant struck out again. Eventually he was able to get the defendant off the train where he was restrained and arrested.”
Mr Espie said Haughton-Ashton had been drinking on the day and had a previous football-related conviction dating to November 30.
On that occasion he was drinking at a Stockport game and became abusive towards stewards and was ejected.
He asked for the court to consider giving the defendant a football banning order.
Emma Simoes, defending, said her client accepted the charges, but only lashed out as he felt the officer had been heavy-handed.
She said: “I appreciate that assaulting a police officer is never a good thing.
“My client fully accepted that the police had to get fans on the train.
“He was trying to talk to a friend, at which stage the officer pushed my client and then he reacted.
“It arose as he was pushed and took objection.”
District Judge Andrew Shaw adjourned sentencing until April 3 pending a full report from the probation service.
He said: “The fact that this took place on a train makes it more serious as the assault clearly had potential to expand and there was more than one kick.
“I will be considering all options including custody.”