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Train hooligans caged

PUBLISHED: 11:44 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:48 25 August 2010

A GANG of football hooligans who ambushed terrified Charlton FC supporters as they rampaged through a train like animals were jailed for a total of just over 16 years last Friday.

A GANG of football hooligans who ambushed terrified Charlton FC supporters as they rampaged through a train like 'animals' were jailed for a total of just over 16 years last Friday.

The 40-strong mob of Crystal Palace thugs boarded the busy train at Sydenham railway station intent on attacking their bitter south London rivals.

Pensioners and young children were caught up in the violence as the yobs went on the rampage shortly before the clash between Palace and Charlton at Selhurst Park on September 1 last year, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Refuse collector Clive Taylor, 35, of Marion Road, Thornton Heath, DJ Carl Thomas, 40, of Foxley Road, Thornton Heath, unemployed Darren Bush, 39, of Woodside Green, Croydon and roofer Ashley White, 21, of Higher Drive, Purley were found guilty of violent disorder after a three-week trial.

Unemployed Andrew Spicer, 38, of Hurst Rd, Kennington, Ashford pleaded guilty before the start of the trial.

Railway worker Robert Kennett, 46, of St Anns Park Rd, Wandsworth had also pleaded guilty but died last month.

A total of 16 thugs have been convicted as a result of the violence.

Sentencing the gang, Judge Stephen Robbins said: "This was sickening behaviour, thuggery, violence on a train with members of the public who were visibly distressed.

"You all give football a bad name, especially your team Crystal Palace, by the disgusting violence displayed on this occasion."

The thugs were also handed 10-year banning orders, preventing them from attending any football matches.

The court heard that the mob carried out a 'planned, coordinated and premeditated ambush' on rival fans, throwing bottles and screamed for them to 'get out of their manor'.

A father tried to shield his baby while a woman frantically attempted to alert the driver as the mob rampaged through the train.

Many of the thugs were later stopped and questioned by officers at Penge East Station, but it was not until two months later that football intelligence officers, known as 'spotters', managed to identify them all.

Taylor, who broke a passenger's nose with a headbutt, and White, who was on bail at the time, were both jailed for four years.

Thomas was sentenced to three years and two months, Bush was given a three-year sentence and Spicer was locked up for two-and-a-half-years.

Nine other men aged between 16 and 44 were jailed in March of this year for a total of 18 years and two months for their part in the violence. After the hearing, Mike Everett, the operations director of Charlton Athletic FC, said: "It was nasty and brutal, an act of contemptible thuggery carried out by mindless idiots.

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