Everton fan caught shouting ‘murderers’ at Liverpool fans by police officer

An Everton fan was handed a football banning order after a police officer caught him shouting ‘murderers’ at Liverpool fans ahead of the Merseyside Derby.

Stuart Watt, 27, was taken away by police as he was heading to Anfield on the day of the derby game on December 2.

Sefton Magistrates’ Court heard how police officers found Watt to be loud and aggressive.

PC Sinclair, a highly experienced officer who had attended around 30 Merseyside derbies, arrested Watt who was ‘full of venom and hatred’ towards Liverpool fans.

He was concerned that Watt’s behaviour could have led to trouble between rival sets of fans, the court heard.

He pointed out that there were large groups of rival fans milling around the King Harry pub and flares had been thrown in the area, Liverpool Echo reports.

Prosecuting, Daryl Pollard said: "PC Sinclair heard Everton fans shouting murderers at the Liverpool fans. He could see a woman with a child close by and was worried.

"He wanted to keep the area safe. The officer was certain that Watt was doing the shouting. He saw the defendant shouting ‘murderers’."

Watt denied that shouting ‘murderers’ at Liverpool fans but was found guilty by magistrates.

Watt’s friend, Liam Jones, who was with him at Anfield on the day told the court that the police officer suddenly reached over and grabbed hold of Watt.

He showed a short clip he had filmed of part of the incident in which a group of police officers surrounded Watt near a police van.

At one point, a policeman can be seen telling Mr Jones to ‘get out of here’.

Another of Watt’s friends, Paul Bromilow, described hearing a ‘commotion’ behind him when he was walking towards the ground.

"I remember we were on Anfield Road, when a police van pulled up nearby," he said.

"I kept walking, and then heard a commotion. I turned around and a police officer had Stuart by the throat. He had his hand around his throat."

Mr Bromilow told the court he did not hear Watt shouting at Liverpool fans.

Defending, Alison Gurden told the court that there was no evidence to suggest that Watt had shouted ‘murderers’ apart from PC Sinclair.

She said the mobile phone footage provided by Mr Jones showed Watt was calm and not aggressive.

But Miss Pollard, however, pointed out that the footage showed the aftermath of the incident and not the lead up.

District Judge Margaret McCormack said she believed there was a tense atmosphere outside the ground ahead of the game.

She said: "He saw you come running up, with your arms outstretched, shouting murderers. He was worried the situation could have got out of hand, and grabbed you.

"He said he was 100% sure that it was you. And then you calmed down and were sorry."

Watt was found guilty of a section 5 public order offence. He received a football banning order for three years.

He cannot go within one mile of Goodison Park on the day of an Everton FC home game for two hours before and two hours after kick-off. The only exception is if he has to work in the area.

He was fined £300 and ordered to pay £530 in costs. 

Watt, who also pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, was fined £75 for that offence.

The court also heard that Watt had previous convictions. In 2014 he was found guilty of assault and handed a community order.

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