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'I'll cut your throat' Lee Pinnick threatened policeman at Southampton match
“I WILL cut your throat. I will find you and kill you and your family.”
Those were the vile words of a football thug who spat in the face of two police officers who turned him away from St Mary’s Stadium because he was drunk.
Violent Lee Pinnick kicked out at one officer while he was restrained on the ground, moments after he had been turned away by a female steward.
The 49-year-old is a Millwall fan who had a ticket for the FA Cup clash on the evening of February 7 this year.
Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard how he had walked to the ground with his son and another man and was singing “boisterously” as he approached.
When police intervened and tried to usher him away he began arguing, spitting in the face of one as he was arrested and restrained.
Held on the ground, he then kicked out at the officer before paramedics came to see him because he was lying “unresponsive”. But the court heard how a second policeman bent over and Pinnick opened his eyes, swore at him and spat directly in his face.
The assault was captured on CCTV but Pinnick, of Copse Road, Bitterne Park, denied three charges of assaulting a police officer, one charge of using threatening or abusive language, and another of trying to enter a sports ground while drunk.
He was found guilty by magistrates following a two-day trial.
Charles Nightingale, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was drunk and his actions were deliberate.”
The court was told how Pinnick had previous convictions that included violence but he had stayed out of trouble for 12 years.
Michael McGoldrick, defending, said Pinnick had suffered the death of his wife from cancer in 2003 and added: “He was clearly in drink. It is not a regular feature in his life. He slipped up once.”
Handing him a 14- week jail term for the assaults, suspended for 18 months, chairman of the bench Felicity Botham said: “This was a sustained attack. All you needed to do was walk away but you chose not to. You spat at two police officers and you must be aware of how serious that is.
Those officers were there in order to do their duty, to protect you and us. Despite everything that has been seen and said you are still not taking responsibility for what happened or showing any remorse.”
Pinnick was ordered to do 240 hours of community work and pay £100 compensation to each officer and £300 costs.
He has also been given a football banning order preventing him from attending any match in England and Wales for three years.
Supt Rick Burrows, football commander, said: “Football violence comes in all shapes and sizes but the police, club and courts’ reponse will always be robust.
Football violence will always be tackled wherever it may happen.”