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Stevenage begin investigation into player assault

Mon 10th Jan 2011 | Legal

Stevenage Football Club chairman Phil Wallace has vowed to come down hard on the fan who punched Stevenage defender Scott Laird after Saturday’s FA Cup third round win over Newcastle United.

“This is disgraceful behaviour and we will do everything we can to ensure that the assailant is brought to justice and prosecuted. Recognition should not be difficult as the video images of him are crystal clear”, Wallace said in a statement on the club’s website yesterday evening.

Speaking of the incident he continued "I wasn't aware of the assault on Scott until long after the game. When I was told I spent a considerable time viewing the incident from all angles in the ESPN mobile unit with representatives of the Police.

“The footage the police now have is comprehensive and the assailant can be seen clearly and full on from the moment he enters the pitch. He's run on from the East terrace, holding a red and white scarf - the kind that was being sold outside the ground by local traders before the game.

“He has approached at least three Stevenage players, seeming to wait for an opportunity and then, on his way back, has leaned over a group of Stevenage fans celebrating with Scotty and thrown a punch to the side of the head that was designed to inflict maximum damage. Scotty collapsed unconscious and has no recollection of the incident.

"The assailant then continued his run back to the East terrace waving his scarf to disguise his actions and, according to witnesses, was pulled over the fence by one or more accomplices and fled out of the open exit gates.

“This person seemed intent on making a random assault on a Stevenage player, after a fantastic victory.

In response to the incident Wallace said, “This needs to be dealt with quickly and forcibly - not by football because clubs cannot stop someone setting out to with devious intent to inflict harm - but by the law, in that the guilty person should be shown no leniency.

“This time it was a fist - who knows what it could be next time. We do everything we can as a club to prevent this type of incident, following all the recommended procedures, but it seems this lad has set out to disguise his intent so that he can cause physical harm to one of our players and we will work with the Police tirelessly until this person is identified and prosecuted."

 

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