Two England supporters have been handed jail sentences and banned from France following the violent clashes in Marseille over the weekend.
Alexander Booth and Ian Hepworth have been sent to prison for two and three months, respectively, after appearing in a Marseille court on Monday.
They become the first fans to be punished for their roles in the chaotic scenes in the French port city, which also involved Russian supporters, the French police and so-called Marseille ‘ultras’.
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Booth, 20, has been jailed for two months after being found guilty of throwing a bottle at police. In addition, he has been banned from France for two years.
Hepworth, 41, who works as a psychiatric nurse, was handed a three-month prison sentence for the same offence - as well as the same ban.
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Booth: I'm not a violent person
According to the Mirror, Booth’s father Chris said “I’ll fight it” and “miscarriage” after the sentence was handed to his son. He was later seen in tears.
"I have never had problems with the police, I respect the police very much,” Booth, still wearing is England shirt in court, commented. “I am hard working."
He added: "I would like to say sorry to the police and to the people and city of Marseille. This is not like me; I'm not a violent person.
"I love my job and my family, I've never been involved in football hooliganism.
"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Hepworth was handed an additional one month in jail after the prosecutor claimed he knew what he was doing because he ran away from the scene.
French police arrested 21 England fans for violent behaviour over the weekend but no Russians.
One of those held in custody include a 16-year-old boy, charged over throwing bottles.
Russians criticised for their role in violence
Russian supporters were also criticised for their role in the violence and for storming the England fans inside the Stade Velodrome following Saturday night’s 1-1 draw.
However, that none of their fans were arrested by French police is bound to raise more questions over the coming days.
One England fan, Andrew Bache, suffered potentially life-changing injuries after being hit several times with an iron bar by a gang of Russians. He was left in a coma and remains in a serious condition but his injuries are no longer said to be life-threatening.
Is a prison sentence fair or harsh? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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