You'll have seen this already on one or two message boards and a few blogs. It deserves all the coverage it can get. Remember the Spurs fans who had their faces plastered all over the press and Crimestoppers for allegedly singing indecent chants at the Pompey v Spurs game?
The likes of the Daily Mail and other tabloids had no qualms about going to town in true sensationalist tabloid hack fashion (with obvious support from the police). The assumption being they must surely all be guilty so plaster their faces all over the front page and villianise them before they have a chance of proving otherwise.
Well done to Ian Trow for standing his ground:
9 months to the day, the CCTV images of 16 Spurs supporters were distributed by the police to all national media, and these images were placed in all papers, and on front page of Crimestoppers next to the likes of murderers and drug dealers.
For the first time in the 9 months since I woke up in a hotel in Germany and saw my face and that of my 13 year old son on the TV screen we can now hold our heads up high, having been proved innocent of all charges.
I cannot go into full detail, as we will be bringing civil action (certainly on behalf of Lewis, as I can get all costs covered under Legal Aid) against the police / CPS for the damages their total negligence and lack of due care caused.
In summary though
In December 11 of the 16 people identified themselves to the police (including a 13 and 2 15 year old boys), and were all charged with engaging in racist or indecent chanting.
In February 4 of these people pleaded guilty the other 7 not guilty. The difference is the 4 were singing the Sol Sol song which certainly is indecent. The other 7 were singing songs such as "We've got Ledley at the back".
These 7 people were then banned by Tottenham under the premise that we had been arrested and that contravened the terms of our season ticket (the fact that we had not been found guilty was irrelevant).
Early May all 7 people were offered cautions, as they had not been singing indecent songs, 5 took what I would call the easy route out and accepted the caution, I decided to uphold my principles and decided I have done nothing wrong so why should me and my son admit any form of guilt (which in effect is what a caution does). The police then offered to drop all charges against me if I would get my son to accept a reprimand (they were obviously scared of future repercussions by my son) I rejected this out of principal as well.
Middle of May, the 2 of us went to trial at Portsmouth Magistrates Court and despite there being no evidence to support the charge brought against us we were found guilty basically by association of singing indecent songs, i.e. we can prove bad songs were sung, we can prove you were at the ground, therefore we assume you were singing these songs.
My legal counsel advised me afterwards that this was always going to be the case, it was purely a show trial, in front of national media (invited by the Police). We were given a 3 year Football Banning Order.
Yesterday we had a full re-trial at Portsmouth Crown Court in front of the most senior judge in Hampshire, but I was quite surprised no media was present. The prosecution showed their evidence, to which the judge said "Is that it". We asked for immediate dismissal of the case (before we even had the chance to put our defence case) and after 2 minutes of deliberation the judge that came back and said, "Not guilty, no case to answer and that is totally unanimous of us all and you can tell by the time it it took it was not a hard decision". The judge then ripped into the CPS that this had been brought into his courtroom, and even been tried in the first case.
All costs have been awarded to me, football banning orders lifted etc.
I have been in touch with the club and expect to hear early next week that the season tickets will be returned.
I would like to thank my family, friends, fellow supporters who have supported me in this, and also the Tottenham Trust who gave some invaluable advise and have been in contact with Spurs during the whole scenario.
I am writing this with a sore head (as you can imagine I celebrated hard last night) and with a big :) on my face. I will be going into Tottenham for a few (or maybe more than a few) drinks today, as I am now allowed back into the borough of Haringey on match-days, although I do not have ticket for match.
Thanks for the support
Hopefully the club will have a few words of support on this matter too. The whole sorry affair proves how superficial the media are (we all know how they work and what sells papers so it's no real shock), how easily influenced the police are and how the complaintent's quest for what he perceived as undeniable justice can be steam-rolled into a witch-hunt just to appease his ego.