45 Polish Football Fans Appear in Court Over Aston Villa Riot
Forty-five Polish football fans, including a woman, were brought before a special court yesterday in relation to the Aston Villa riot that took place on Thursday. The clashes outside the Birmingham stadium were the most severe seen in the UK in the past 20 years.
Out of the total of 46 individuals between the ages of 21 and 63 who were charged, one did not attend the court hearing. The remaining defendants appeared in groups of up to five at separate hearings held throughout the day.
The charges brought against them include 43 counts of public order offenses, two counts of assaulting police, and one count of possessing a knife. Almost 30 of the accused were granted conditional bail by a district judge and several magistrates at Birmingham Crown Court.
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Among those charged is a 22-year-old woman from Poland who pleaded not guilty to violent disorder. During one of the hearings, the court was informed that the violence inflicted upon the police was “egregious, sustained, and horrific,” involving the throwing of bricks, bottles, and even a portable toilet. It is alleged that there was an attempted fire attack on a police van, and two officers were injured by a flare and a flaming flag.
According to the police, five officers, two police dogs, and two horses were injured during the violence that erupted when visiting supporters were denied entry to Villa Park for the Europa Conference League match, which Legia Warsaw lost 2-1.
Darius Buras, a 57-year-old resident of Birmingham, is one of the two individuals accused of assaulting the police. He denies the allegations and has been released on bail. The defendants who were remanded in custody are scheduled to appear in court again on January 5.
Detective Superintendent Jim Munro expressed the significant effort made by the police to charge such a large number of individuals promptly after such a major disorder.