Officers who arrested violent football fan praised by judge

A judge has praised the “commendable composure” of two officers who arrested a man who attacked them after a football match at the Emirates Stadium.

Jan 9, 2024
By Paul Jacques

A female officer sustained injuries to her legs and hands during the violent struggle to arrest 38-year-old Bradley Prior.

Prior, of Brentwood, has been issued with an eight-year Football Banning Order (FBO) after he was convicted of assault on an emergency worker and criminal damage.

Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers were patrolling post-match in the vicinity of the Emirates Stadium after the Arsenal v Liverpool game on March 16, 2022, when they came across Prior, who was being rude and confrontational towards Liverpool fans.

“Officers warned him a number of times to stop but he refused,” said the MPS. “He then threw a beer at a female officer and lashed out at officers as they arrested him. He also damaged a police radio.

“An officer sustained grazes to her legs and hands during the struggle to arrest Prior.”

Prior was arrested and taken into custody before being released on bail. He was charged in October 2023.

In addition to the eight-year FBO, Prior was given a sentence of eight weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for one year, and ordered to pay compensation of £200 and costs of £300.

Football Banning Officer PC Jack Muscatt, of the MPS Central Football Unit, said: “Prior was warned a number of times to stop abusing the Liverpool fans, who were just trying to make their way from the stadium without incident, and was extremely violent and aggressive on arrest.

“We’re very happy that he has been given an FBO. Everyone should be able to go to watch the football without fear of people like Prior ruining the occasion. It should be an example for anyone intent on causing trouble that we will pursue these kinds of punishments.”

Commending the arresting officers, District Judge Mr Brennan said: “Thank you for your actions on the day, so many officers would allow behaviour like this to continue and not properly challenge fans.

“You and your colleagues composure whilst dealing with Mr Prior was commendable as he was particularly violent throughout.”

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