Match ban for youth coach who punched man dropped

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A youth football coach, who punched a supporter in the face, has had an order banning him from attending matches dropped.

Mark Copping, from Highview Close, Sudbury, was jailed for five months and banned from all football matches in England and Wales for six years after admitting hitting Paul Dunlop while manager of Cornard Dynamos Blues Under-14s team.

At Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, the banning order against the 39-year-old was dismissed after it came to light the order could not be made in relation to a youth football match.

District Judge Celia Dawson said an “error had been made in the legal process”.

“The match was not within the level of match which an order of this kind could be granted for,” she said. “The football banning order should be dismissed as it was a mistake in law.”

Emma Howson, from the Crown Prosecution Service, agreed that, having reviewed the case, the order should be dropped.

Mr Copping, who is currently serving his prison sentence but appeared in court, left Mr Dunlop needing 10 stitches in his face after punching him during a match on March 3.

At an earlier hearing, magistrates heard that Copping, whose son played for the team, had sworn at the referee over an offside decision in a match against Notley Youth.

An argument then erupted between Copping and Mr Dunlop.