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Six England fans jailed over street violence in Marseille

The fans have been jailed for between one and three months.

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

SIX ENGLAND FANS have been jailed in France over the Marseille fan battles before the England-Russia Euro 2016 match.

Two British men and a French man were the first to be jailed today for their part in running battles between English and Russian fans in Marseille’s Vieux Port district on Saturday.

Ian Hepworth, 41, was sentenced to three months in prison while Alexander Booth, a 20-year-old chef, was jailed for two months.

Frenchman, 29-year-old David Palmeri, was jailed for 12 months with another 12 months suspended for punching and hitting three people and stealing an England shirt.

Sky News reports that four other England fans have been jailed this evening.

One month sentences were handed down to 23-year-old Lee Phillips and 21-year-old Paul Jackson.

Meanwhile, Ashley Kelly, 26, has been sentenced to three months and Steven Cornell, 28, has been jailed for two months and given a two-year ban from France.

Hepworth, who is a psychiatric nurse, admitted throwing a beer bottle at police. He told the court:

My job is helping people. I did something stupid.

Booth, who was wearing an England team t-shirt, admitted lobbing a plastic beer cup and making an offensive gesture at police. Prosecutors said he had thrown a glass bottle at policemen’s legs.

I apologise to the people and the police of Marseille. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was the worst violence at a major international football tournament since the 1998 World Cup.

An English man in his fifties who was apparently beaten on the head with an iron bar in the violence remains in a critical condition.

The attackers have not been identified, but Marseille’s prosecutor Brice Robin said 150 “extremely well-trained” Russian troublemakers had taken part in the Marseille unrest.

They were “prepared for hyper-fast and hyper-violent acts”, Brice said, adding that they had slipped through police surveillance to get into France.

France’s Sports Minister Patrick Kanner said Russia should have done more to stop the hooligans from travelling to the championships.

“It is a regrettable lack of cooperation,” Kanner told AFP.

The Russian authorities should never have let these people go and they must react.

The head of Britain’s policing for the championships, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts, said troublemakers “targeted England fans in an orchestrated way”.

He said the Russians in Marseille were wearing gum shields, martial arts gloves and carrying knives.

We know that troublemakers targeted England fans in an orchestrated way inflicting serious injuries.

There are concerns that Russian and English fans could clash again this week in the northern city of Lille.

Russia’s next game is in Lille on Wednesday against Slovakia, while England play Wales in nearby Lens on Thursday.

Additional reporting by AFP.

Read: Player ratings: Here’s how we reckon the Boys in Green fared in their Euro 2016 opener>

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