Charges dropped against 39 Legia Warsaw fans arrested after Villa Park disorder

Charges Dropped Against 39 Legia Warsaw Fans Arrested After Villa Park Disorder
The Crown Prosectuion Service are still proceeding with cases against seven other men charged with offences including assaulting an emergency worker. Photo: PA Images
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Matthew Cooper, PA

Prosecutors in the UK have dropped criminal charges against 39 Legia Warsaw fans arrested after police were pelted with missiles outside Villa Park before a Europa Conference League match.

The charges against 38 men and one woman, including counts of violent disorder, were brought after flares were thrown towards police at and near a coach park outside the stadium on November 30th.


Charges against seven other Legia fans are being proceeded with.

Aston Villa v Legia Warsaw – UEFA Europa Conference League – Group E – Villa Park
Police attempt to put out flares on November 30 (David Davies/PA)

More than 40 Legia supporters, mostly based in Poland, appeared in court two days after the disorder, and were granted bail after denying any wrongdoing.


They included a 22-year-old woman from Poland whose lawyer told the court she was a medical student who had travelled to Birmingham with her boyfriend.

One of the court hearings held two days after the disorder was told “egregious, sustained and horrific” violence – beginning shortly before 6pm and extending until 8pm – saw bricks, bottles and a portable toilet thrown at officers.

It is also alleged that there was an attempt to set a police van on fire while a flare and a lit flag were allegedly used to cause injuries to two officers.

Police said a total of five officers, two police dogs and two police horses were injured after violence erupted when visiting supporters were not given tickets to enter Villa Park, as previously arranged.


In a statement issued on Thursday, the Crown Prosecution Service said: “We are proceeding against seven defendants and have issued discontinuance notices for 39 defendants.

“Should further evidence come to light then proceedings against those defendants could be reinstated.”

Aston Villa v Legia Warsaw – UEFA Europa Conference League – Group E – Villa Park
Police deal with disorder outside Villa Park (David Davies/PA)


The CPS has a responsibility to review prosecutions and consider if they can be proceeded with when cases are charged by police.

Guidelines state that reviews of cases should be proportionate to the specific facts of the case, and the prosecutor’s view of defendants’ anticipated plea.

Three men charged with violent disorder, one charged with a public order offence, and one charged with possession of Class A drugs are due to appear on Friday at Birmingham Crown Court.

Another man is due to appear at the same court on January 16th while a defendant is facing proceedings charged with assaulting an emergency worker.


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