A WREXHAM football fan who “lost his head” and punched a steward during the derby against Chester has been banned from attending matches for two years.
Father-of-three Lee Peagram, of Cheshire View, Brymbo, punched one steward and pushed another in the Mold Road stand during the match at The Racecourse on August 31.
At a hearing at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Friday it was revealed Peagram, 29, had been out drinking on the day of the game. When stewards tried to remove an offensive banner from Wrexham supporters, “the red mist descended” over the defendant and he lashed out at matchday staff.
Peagram pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating against the stewards and a third charge of being caught in possession of cocaine on arrest.
He was handed a 12-month community order by district judge Andrew Shaw. He was also given a football banning order which prevents him from being within 2.5km of any football ground where Wrexham or Wales are playing over the course of the next two years.
Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, told the court that Peagram had been out drinking on the day of the match at a local pub – with his brother and friends – where he had drunk four or five pints of lager.
Mr Ellis explained CCTV footage showed Peagram standing in the corner of the Mold Road stand when a banner was unveiled by Wrexham supporters reading: “Two Dead Fans and One Dead Club”.
The offensive banner was met with an angry reaction from Chester supporters. Two stewards, Artan Hasaj and Paul Burke, began to make their way up the Mold Road stand steps to confiscate the banner but were met by a “rowdy and hostile” crowd of Wrexham fans so they began to retreat.
On the retreat, Mr Hasaj said he felt “a number of blows to the back of the head” and CCTV foota ge showed Peagram to have punched him.
Peagram then pushed Burke as he was trying to retreat to safety.
Neither steward sustained any serious injuries but Mr Shaw told Peagram the experience must have been “extremely traumatic” for them.
Melissa Griffiths, defending, said: “The defendant decided to go to the match, the first he had attended in four years.
“He is not a big drinker, does not often go out with friends, and uses cocaine once every six months.
“A scuffle has broken out, the crowd have become aggressive and he lost his head as the red mist descended.”
Miss Griffiths said Peagram, a roofer, fully accepted the banning order. She said he was “incredibly sorry” to the two stewards he assaulted.
Mr Shaw, summarising, said: “Stewards do a dangerous job, working in a vulnerable area often on an uneven footing. This incident must have been very traumatic for the pair and it is to their immense credit that they have not made more of this incident.
“Your working life will be affected on Saturdays by this order but I will leave it up to you to ensure you are never closer than 2,500m from The Racecourse ground on matchdays.”
Peagram was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £245 and compensation of £50 to each steward.