A WREXHAM man who scrawled graffiti on Chester FC’s ground before posting photos of himself next to the graffiti on Facebook has been fined.
Dean Roberts, 19, of Tan y Coed, Wrexham, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on January 22 to criminal damage when he, and another unknown man, wrote ‘WFC’ – denoting Wrexham FC – on four different sites on the Swansway Chester Stadium on September 6 last year.
West Cheshire Magistrates Court heard yesterday that members of staff at the football club noticed two young men outside the stadium shouting and making rude hand gestures.
Neil Audley, prosecuting, said the staff then found the graffiti outside and one of the staff members got into his car and followed Roberts and detained him until the police arrived.
Mr Audley said Roberts was being provocative because he was shouting “Two dead fans, one dead club” – a reference to a banner unfurled at the Wrexham v Chester match a few days earlier which mocked the death of two Chester fans.
Mr Audley said after Roberts was arrested by police, he was searched and found to have two cans of white spray paint in a rucksack.
Mr Audley said Roberts had also posted further evidence of the incident on the social media website Facebook when he posted a picture of himself standing next to one of the sites of the graffiti with the message: ‘To all you Wrexham fans who said I didn’t have the balls to do something like this. **** off Chester’.
Stephen Fearns, defending, said the incident occurred after Roberts went to the Wrexham vs Chester derby and was angered by the result which saw Wrexham lose 2-0.
Mr Fearns also said Roberts believed Chester fans were responsible for graffiti which had been daubed on Wrexham’s Racecourse ground.
Mr Fearns said Roberts realised his actions were stupid and that they would hit him hard in the pocket
He also said Roberts, who is unemployed, was of previous good character and deserved credit as he had had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
Sentencing him, presiding magistrate Michael Martin said his actions would not help relations between fans of the two clubs.
He said: “You now have a criminal record for an act of considerable stupidity.
“I know very well the bad feeling between the two clubs because I go to watch Chester and I used to go and watch Wrexham.
“The rivalry never used to be too bad but now there needs to be a military operation for the game to take place. Incidents like this do not help.
“You have come deliberately to vandalise the stadium.
“My advice to you would be to grow up.
“You have even posted the evidence on Facebook.”
Magistrates fined Roberts £70, ordered him to pay £200 compensation to Chester FC, prosecution costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge.