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By COURT REPORTER
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The men joined a surge of up to 60 troublemakers following the Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham fixture at Upton Park in 2009.
Violence errupted near the ground on August 23 after Spurs won 2-1, Inner London Crown Court heard.
Spurs “General” Kieran Colletta, 44, and Simon Howlett, 47, rounded up yobs to confront a Hammers gang who were armed with bottles and glasses on Mile End Road, led by Anthony Caton, 43.
Craig Molski, 32, ran up and down behind the police line trying to get at West Ham fans.
Bottles flew and smashed on CCTV cameras and Colletta, of Dimsdale Drive, Enfield, could “clearly be seen” hurling one at rivals. David Lamb, 41, made provocative gestures at West Ham enemies.
Ringleaders arranged the clash at a summit meeting near a pub shortly beforehand. Innocent passers-by were forced to dash for cover, and police feared the situation “would spiral out of control” as they were outnumbered.
The five men, who all have various previous convictions, all denied affray but were found guilty by a jury.
Jailing them today, Tuesday, February 15, Judge Robert Fraser said: “There’s no doubt that football violence is a scourge on the sport.”
He said the “serious affray” had put police in an “exceedingly difficult and dangerous position,” adding: “Both the police and the public were clearly put in the centre of the threats and violence that resulted.
“Each of you played a different part in the affray, but you all quite obviously participated and contributed to it.”
Colletta, who said he was “embarrassed and ashamed” about his role in the brawl, was jailed for two years for “leading and organising the Spurs group”.
He had four convictions between 1982 and 1990 for blackmail, possessing stolen goods, possession of an offensive weapon and obstructing a police officer.
His lawyer Keiran Moroney said: “Perhaps this disorder would have happened whether he was there or not, and he has been singled out in various ways.
“He had lived an honest life, outside of his involvement with Tottenham Hotspur and football violence.”
Judge Fraser acknowledged Colletta’s sentence would have “tragic” consequences for his family, but said: “It is your actions that have put you in this position, and I am afraid they are going to have to suffer the consequences.”
Howlett received a reduced sentence of eight months after the court heard he was the sole carer for his two children aged 14 and 12, one of whom is physically disabled.
Molksi, formerly of Flower Lane, Mill Hill, was jailed for 10 months, while Lamb, of Kerrison Road, Wandsworth, got eight months.
West Ham’s “organiser” Caton, of Paul Street, Hackney, was jailed for 22 months.
All were banned from attending football matches involving their team for six years, and from travelling to major football tournaments abroad.
A sixth man admitted affray and will be sentenced on March 4 while reports are undertaken.