15 Jul 2015

Shark attack earns football fan $230 fine

2:53 pm on 15 July 2015

A Grimsby Town supporter has been found guilty of assaulting a steward with an inflatable shark at an English football match.

Kenneth Meech told the BBC he took the blow-up toy fish to the match against Barnet at Hive Stadium in February in support of a fellow fan, who had been ejected from an earlier away game for refusing to hand over a large beach ball.

"A lot of lads were saying 'come on, let's get together and support Bryan' by taking as many inflatables as possible to Barnet and that's what we did, because we've got a good sense of humour," Meech said.

Grimsby Town won the match 3-1.

"We were jumping about amongst each other, celebrating, and before I knew it - I was shocked really - I was grabbed out by the police and taken away."

Grimsby Town supporter Kenneth Meech and the offending inflatable shark.

Grimsby Town supporter Kenneth Meech and the offending inflatable shark. Photo: BBC

Steward Cgagi Gladyng told the court he was hurt by the inflatable which was being waved "like an axe" and described the three blows to his head "as like being hit by a roll of paper".

He said he became frightened as the Grimsby Town fans surged towards the pitch.

Meech was convicted of assault with a 12-month conditional discharge, and the 50-year-old was ordered to pay court costs of $1500 and $230 compensation to the steward.

Speaking after the sentencing, he claimed the prosecution was a "waste of the taxpayer's money".

"I'm a bit deflated, to be honest," he said.

Grimsby Town shark circling fans.

Grimsby Town shark circling fans. Photo: Grimsby Telegraph

"Very surprised and shocked by the verdict, but got to respect what the court has said.

Grimsby Town, based on England's north-east coast, are known as The Mariners and played in the top flight in the 1930s when the port was a hub of Britain's fishing industry.