Football hooligan case on hold after defendant injured in court toilet
THE court case of a suspected football hooligan had to be adjourned after the accused was injured in the court's toilet.
Liam Melody, 19, of Stanley Gardens, Wallington, ran into court crying for his dad after a partition above the urinals at Croydon Magistrates' Court fell on his head, causing a gash.
Court proceedings were halted and an ambulance was called after magistrates ruled it would not be in the "interests of justice" to continue the case – instead adjourning it for two months.
Mr Melody appeared at court on Tuesday, when he faced the possibility being given a football banning order which would bar him from all grounds in the UK.
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Before the incident halted proceedings, the court was told Melody was a "prominent" member of the Crystal Palace supporters' group the Holmesdale Fanatics.
PC Perry Lathwood gave evidence to the court, saying he had been in contact with Melody a "number of times", describing him as "aggressive" and "difficult to communicate with".
He spoke specifically about a number of games, including Palace's match against Birmingham City in December, when he said trouble had flared that directly involved Mr Melody.
CCTV footage was shown in the courtroom.
PC Lathwood said: "I was acting as a 'spotter' for the game, and I have been carrying out that role for around four years. I gather intelligence from football games.
"During the Birmingham game I witnessed an incident involving Liam.
"There was a steward who went to speak to the group of fans known as the Holmesdale Fanatics.
"As he [the steward] started to walk down the steps, the group went with him.
"I saw Liam coming down the steps and making a grab for him. The steward went over the barrier backwards – he was pushed over the railings.
"Liam is a prominent member of the group, who is happy to stand at the front. He is aggressive to police.
"Liam is well liked by the group because he is happy to stand out in the front and engage in antisocial behaviour."
The court also heard that Mr Melody was part of a group who got into a fight with a section of Millwall fans after a match at Selhurst Park last October.
PC Lathwood said: "The fans met and the police were in the middle. There was a bang and a massive amount of smoke, the horses started rearing.
"I was hit by a flare and went down. Bricks and rocks were coming from all directions.
"The Fanatics were pushing towards the Millwall fans, they were attacking police lines to get to the Millwall fans. Liam Melody was involved."
Mr Melody opposed the order. The case will continue in July.