'Humiliated' Boro fans must now wait to see if case against Derbyshire Police is successful

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'Humiliated' Boro fans must now wait to see if case against Derbyshire Police is successful

Judge Mark Gargan has now retired to consider his judgement, which will be written up

Boro fans who claim they were "humiliated" by Derbyshire Police at an away-day match must now wait to see if their case has been successful.

The supporters travelled to Derby to watch a Championship clash on March 17, 2015, but they say the police treated them like criminals before being ordered out of town.

The fans involved are now suing the Midlands force, and after a lengthy civil case, the judge adjourned on Wednesday to consider his judgement.

Middlesbrough County Court heard that some of the fans involved felt "humiliated and intimidated" as police corralled the group together while members of the public watched on and took pictures.

 

 

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Alison Gurden, a barrister representing the fans, told the court the supporters were also "concerned" about a BBC Tees interview that was broadcast the night of the incident.

She said BBC Tees spoke to a high ranking officer at Derbyshire Police who branded the fans "hooligans" and spoke of "fights" breaking out that involved about "100" risk supporters.

The fans involved deny this was the case and families of the supporters listening back home were saddened by what they heard.

Ms Gurden also highlighted "discrepancies" in the dispersal notices, or "pink slips", that the fans were given on the day by police.

Some notices stated fans had to leave Derby centre, while others stated Derbyshire.

Dates on some were also incorrect.

One fan, Paul Livingstone, who is deaf, was "unaware" of what was happening, according to Ms Gurden, and got "no explanation" from officers.

"They were aware he is deaf", she said, "but it doesn't appear that officers made any attempt to communicate with him."

In his summary, Mark Ley-Morgan, a barrister appearing on behalf of Derbyshire Police, said the force acted accordingly and that the fans were "not credible complainants".

Speaking of the discrepancies in the pink slips, he said: "We accept there were errors, it's obvious.

"We also accept that not all claimants were given notice to disperse."

 
 

He said that despite this, there was no basis that the directions given by police were "unlawful" and that the "vast majority" of notices were "properly issued".

Mr Ley-Morgan added: "Nowhere (In fan statements) is it alleged that the directions were defective because there were errors."

Judge Mark Gargan has now retired to consider his written judgement.