Man jailed after slashing rival fan in the face in Millwall brawl

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A man has been jailed after slashing a rival football fan in the face during a brawl near Surrey Quays station between Millwall and Everton supporters in January 2019.

Billy Cowap, 29, of Riddons Road in Lewisham, was sentenced on Monday (December 13) to six years and eight months imprisonment for grievous bodily harm (GBH), three years and four months for attempted GBH, and one year for violent disorder, to be served concurrently.

The man he attacked needed several operations to his face and has been left with lasting injuries.

Cowap had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. He was also issued with a ten-year football banning order. Seven other men were also given sentences related to the violent scenes.

The court heard how on January 26 2019 between 4 and 4.45pm Millwall and Everton football fans fought before a fourth round FA Cup match at The Den.

A large group of Everton fans got off the train at Surrey Quays and went to a nearby pub on Rotherhithe Old Road. The Everton fans attacked people outside the pub and threw bottles and chairs.

In retaliation Millwall supporters at the pub threw glasses and chairs. Officers from the Met Police and the British Transport Police got involved and separated the fans via a cordon.

Whelan’s suffered thousands of pounds of damage, landlord Ciaran Canavan said afterwards.

As Everton fans retreated to a nearby estate, Millwall fans approached them and a smaller fight took place before it was broken up. As the Everton fans left the estate onto Hawkstone Road they were approached by more Millwall fans.

A big fight then broke out between the two groups, involving over 100 people. Within the violent disorder Cowap slashed a man’s face with a knife.

Officers were able to identify Cowap’s attack via CCTV, body worn video and social media footage. They were also able to place him at the scene by analysing his phone call data and cell site data. The knife used was recovered at the scene and officers identified that the colour of the knife matched the weapon Cowap was seen carrying in videos of the incident.

Alex Jarvis, 34, of Donaldson Road, Greenwich was sentenced to eight months imprisonment suspended for eighteen months, 40 hours unpaid work, £140 for court costs and a three year football banning order. He had pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Charlie Foster, 22, of Castleton Road, Bromley was sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work, £85 for court costs and a three year football banning order. He had pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Dean West, 34, of Osprey Road, Hampshire was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, 80 hours unpaid work, £140 for court costs and a four year football banning order. He had pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Gary Kenyon, 33, of no fixed address was sentenced to 120 hours unpaid work, £85 for court costs and a three year football banning order. He had pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Jack Cracknell, 24, of Melville Road, Sidcup; Harry Banks, 22, of Lamerock Road, Bromley and Brett Taylor, 25, of Openshaw Road, Abbey Wood, were all sentenced to 90 hours unpaid work, £85 for court costs and a three year football banning order. They had pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Detective Constable Phil Dickinson from the Met’s Public Order Command said: “This type of disorder is incredibly dangerous and led to a violent attack which left a victim with lasting injuries which have required numerous surgeries.

“The sentences given to these men reflect the severity of the events that took place. Violence between football fans will not be tolerated and we will continue our work to keep London safe during sport matches.”

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