Man becomes first in UK to receive football banning order for drug offence
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A man who was caught taking cocaine at a football match in Staffordshire has become the first person in the UK to be banned from attending matches for drug offences.
Tony John Bordley, aged 52, of Halt Robin Road, Belvedere, Kent, was given a three-year football banning order at Cannock Magistrates’ Court on 30 November after he admitted using drugs at a Burton Albion game last month.
It comes as the first football banning order (FBO) to be issued for drug offences following a change to the law in November. The new legislation means fans who commit class A drug offences at matches can now be banned for up to ten years and receive a criminal conviction.
Bordley went into one of the toilet cubicles in the East Stand of the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday 12 November after travelling to watch his team, Charlton Athletic, take on Burton in a League One fixture.
Security staff in the stadium heard Bordley taking drugs inside the cubicle before calling over the force’s dedicated football officer, PC Rich Lymer, who was on duty at the time.
PC Lymer approached Bordley once he came out of the cubicle. Bordley admitted taking cocaine before handing over a plastic bag containing the substance - which was hidden in his wallet.
He was arrested for possessing a controlled drug of class A and removed from the ground.
Bordley has now been banned from attending any football match in the UK for the next three years and will also be unable to travel abroad to watch England internationals. Part of the order also means he can’t go within two miles of a football match, in order to stop him from mixing with supporters on matchdays.
He will also have to surrender his passport when England play away fixtures. Officers have signposted Bordley to the appropriate support services as a result of the incident.
PC Lymer said: “We’ve become the first police force in the country to secure a banning order for this offence which will greatly benefit matchday experiences in Staffordshire moving forward.
“Those intent on taking harmful drugs into footballs stadiums will be dealt with proportionately and brought to justice."
Chief Constable Mark Roberts, NPCC Lead for Football Policing, added: “This court result should act as a warning to anyone who is considering taking drugs to football. If you get caught, you will be banned from all matches for a minimum of three years and will also receive a criminal record.
"Drugs and alcohol continue to be persistent drivers of poor behaviour in football, and wider society, and the introduction of these banning orders is a positive step in tackling the problem."
“The increase in arrests and football banning orders seen in the release of last season’s Home Office disorder statistics demonstrates that the police are taking positive action to counter disorder, working closely with the CPS.
“We collectively need to make football a safe environment for the overwhelming majority of supporters who just want to enjoy the game.”