A football fan who was thrown out of a match and arrested for being drunk was actually – a STROKE VICTIM, a court heard.
Steven Renton, 47, was ‘slurring his words’ and ‘struggling to control himself’ when stewards approached him as he watched his side Tranmere Rovers play Bristol Rovers in March.
Marshalls removed Renton from the ground an hour into the match and he was later arrested and quizzed by police before being charged with being drunk at a sporting event.
But following a two day court hearing, spread over two months at Bristol Magistrates’ Court, he was cleared of the charge after a doctor’s note showed his ‘drunken behaviour’ were actually side effects from a stroke he suffered in June 2008.
Officers from Avon and Somerset police told the hearing Renton, who admitted drinking before the match, was slurring his speech and struggling to control himself.
John Quinn, defending, said there was a disturbance among the away fans, which Mr Renton, or Birkenhead, Merseyside, pointed out to stewards.
They suspected he was drunk and hauled him out the ground before arresting him.
Magistrate Robert Jennings said: “There is no doubt you stank of alcohol. But if you had a drink now in this room you would smell.
“In that football ground these police officers genuinely felt you were drunk.
“But we have the benefit of your medical report.”
Mr Jennings then said the three magistrates had unanimously agreed Mr Renton was not guilty of the offence.
Speaking after Friday’s hearing, Mr Renton said: “It’s a big weight off my shoulders. I could have faced a football banning order if found guilty, and I’ve never been in trouble with the police before.”