Topless dad thrown onto football pitch during game after all-day Sambuca sesh

A "bare-chested" man who was fined for entering the playing area at a professional football match three times said "a couple of lads kept getting my feet and throwing me over," as he avoided a banning order.

Jonathan Robert Bee, who usually goes to matches with his young son, was fined £266 after he pleaded guilty to accessing the playing area at Hartlepool United's stadium, when a Sambuca-fuelled birthday celebration got out of hand, on August 28.

On Thursday, Bee, 36, appeared at Teesside Magistrates' Court following the application of a football banning order which aimed to prevent him from attending any regulated football match for at least three years.

But the application was rejected as the magistrates were "not satisfied" there were reasonable grounds for making the order, TeessideLive reported.

Bee, who admitted breaching sections 4 and 5 of the Football Offences Act 1991, thanked the magistrates before insisting he would only attend future games with his son. He also had to pay costs of £119.

Paul Doney, prosecuting, said police were monitoring the crowd when a "bare-chested" Hartlepool fan was seen landing on his back in the playing area of the ground before returning into the crowd.

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However as the match continued, the man, who was identified as Bee, entered the area two more times before finally being detained.

Mr Doney said Bee "refused to provide details" to police and was "unsteady on his feet", leading officers to believe he was drunk.

The court was told Bee had previous convictions, his most recent being in March, last year when he assaulted an emergency worker and received a community order.

Bee, who represented himself during the hearing, said the reason he was in the playing area was that "a couple of lads kept getting my feet and throwing me over".

He said after the third time it happened, he "walked away" from them before the match stewards detained him.

Bee told the magistrates that he usually attends matches with his young son, but on this occasion was with a group of friends celebrating a birthday.

He said the group had been drinking shots of Sambuca, but said he "didn't know why" he joined in as he takes anti-depressant medication.

Bee added that he did not attend matches to take part in violence.

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