Mansfield Town fan risked prison by turning up to match

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A young football “addict” risked up to six months in jail when he ignored an order banning him from Mansfield Town FC matches, a court heard.

A police officer spotted Jack Keeling in Portland retail park, half an hour after a match against Chesterfield FC had kicked off, on November 25.

The officer described tensions on the day as “high” and said there was a likelihood of violence, said prosecutor Neil Hollett.

“The defendant asked when his banning order was over,” Mr Hollett said.

“When he was asked if he knew he was breaching the order, he said: “I know, it’s Chesterfield though.””

When interviewed, Keeling made “a full and drank admission”, but couldn’t provide a valid reason for being in the area.

The 20-year-old, of Mayfield Terrace, Warsop, admitted breaching the order when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

The three-year order was originally made on February 3, 2015, when Keeling was a youth, but he had previously breached it on September 16, last year.

The court heard that police asked for the order to be extended, but the court could only impose a new one, if they were satisfied it would prevent violence in the future.

Magistrates heard that a breach of such an order carried with it up to six months in custody.

Keeling, who was unrepresented, said: “It was a stupid mistake. I had been out with the lads for a couple of beers. I shouldn’t have done it.”

Probation officer Greta Percival said the original order was imposed because Keeling ran on to the pitch after the game was finished and there was no violence involved.

She said: “He goes for a drink with a few friends. There is some peer pressure. He is addicted to football.”

Chair Vale Humble said: “This is ruining your chance of enjoying the game. You’re depriving yourself really. If you do it again it will be much more serious.”

A new three year ban from Mansfield Town matches was imposed on Keeling.

He was given a 12 month community order, with 80 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £85 costs and an £85 government surcharge.