Abusive spectator banned for 2 years

TONY SMITH
Last updated 16:59 18/03/2014
Senior Constable Keith Rose
Senior Constable Keith Rose.

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Christchurch's ''spectator from hell'' - senior police constable Keith Rose - has been banned from attending games at the city's major football venue for two years.

Rose, who has been with the police for 42 years, was discharged without conviction in the Christchurch District Court last November, but ordered to play $1500 emotional harm reparations to a match official he admitted assaulting.

Judge Roger Murfitt said Rose had behaved like ''the spectator from hell''.

Mainland Football's board has banned Rose from attending matches at the ASB Football Park arena at English Park, where the assault incident took place last June, for two years.

Rose was watching his son's team, Western, play Cashmere Technical in a Mainland Premier League (MPL) match. Western supporters were unhappy with the standard of officiating and Rose was heard to criticise the referee as ''disgrace''.

As the officials left the pitch, Rose collided with linesman Hayden McCabe. The court heard Rose held the victim by the throat. He accepted later he had over reacted.

The ban, which will expire in March 2016, does not apply to Christchurch City Council grounds, where some MPL matches are played. English Park is Western's home ground.

Western was fined $2000 for their spectators' behaviour and Western coach Julian Morris was suspended for two matches.

Mainland Football chief executive Mike Coggan said the Mainland board wanted to send a strong message about the need ''to protect our officials, who are volunteers''.

McCabe was a "young up and coming referee" in his mid-20s. Coggan said. He was so shaken that he ''didn't do any officiating after the incident'' last year.

''He's slowly getting back into officiating this year at the Nike Cup [junior tournament] in the last couple of weeks, '' Coggan said.

He said Mainland Football would continue its ''zero tolerance'' policy of suspending and fining players and coaches for match official abuse. It was also instigating a fairplay campaign aimed at encouraging better sideline behaviour at junior grade matches this season.

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- The Press

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