Jail for pair who wrecked clubhouse
Two thugs who wrecked a town football clubhouse were sent to prison for four months on Friday following a late-night four hour stand off with police during which threats were made to kill a police dog.
TWO men who wrecked a town football clubhouse were sent to prison for four months on Friday following a late-night four-hour stand-off with police during which threats were made to kill a police dog.
During the stand-off, one of the men threatened to "stab and slice up" the dog if it was sent in after them while they were barricaded into the Cromer clubhouse.
Martin Bamford and Wayne Mackin were sentenced by Yarmouth magistrates, barely 24 hours after being caught red-handed at the Mill Road ground.
Their actions prompted a wave of anger in and around Cromer. Not only did they damage the community facility, which is used both by the club and for functions such as bingo nights, they also destroyed a charity box aimed at helping a toddler needing life saving brain surgery.
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The mum of 21-month-old Ella-Grace Honeyman said the attack on the clubhouse was effectively stealing from a small child.
Windows were smashed, tables and chairs damaged and alcohol was both drunk and destroyed, leaving the clubhouse closed to the public for an estimated fortnight.
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The club's general manager Les Frary said the wider community had been struck a blow, but people had rallied round to help since the attack, which started at around 1am on Thursday.
Home fixtures last Saturday and through the week have been going ahead, but post-match hospitality has taken place in the White Horse pub in town rather than at the club.
"What has happened is an attack on the community - a lot of people get a lot of enjoyment out of this place and it has been wrecked," " said Mr Frary.
At Yarmouth Magistrates' Court, Bamford, 23, of Reeve Place, Cromer, pleaded guilty to affray, causing criminal damage of up to �4,999 and attempted burglary.
Mackin, 25, of Lynewood Close, Cromer, pleaded guilty to affray, causing criminal damage of up to �4,999, burglary and stealing alcohol. Both were sentenced to four months prison and were told they would serve only two months.
No order for compensation was made but magistrates said the football club could potentially take civil action against the pair
to recover costs.
Prosecutor Gary Mayle said that during the incident fire extinguishers were used to smash open the bar's shutter and beer bottles were "used as weapons" when they were hurled at police. He added the defendants threatened the police dogs, claming they would "stab it up, slice it up." Bamford was also heard to threaten: "I will burn the building down."
The violence and threat of violence was so bad towards police called in a Taser stun gun team - although they were not needed.
Both defendants had previous convictions for public order offences and had been on police bail at the time of the football club incident.
They were both due to go for interviews to join the army this week.
Mitigating, Simon Nicholls said: "It was a drunken incident that has gone terribly wrong for both of them. They have really, really blown the chance they had to get away from their past."
Laura Honeyman, Ella-Grace's mum, said: "It's appalling. "I'm glad they've been caught. It's blatant disrespect. I feel really bad for the club and the hard efforts they've made for us. They probably feel they have let us down, but I don't want them to feel like that. We now need to pull together to help them."