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Daniel Sciusco PA

Roma fan jailed for his part in violent scenes outside Anfield the night Sean Cox was injured

Daniel Sciusco was jailed for two and a half years.

A ROMA FOOTBALL fan has been jailed for two and a half years for his part in violent disorder on the night that Irishman Sean Cox was assaulted.

Dad-of-three Sean, from Dunboyne in Co Meath, is still receiving treatment after he was attacked outside Liverpool FC’s home ground Anfield before the club’s Champions League semi-final against AS Roma on 24 April.

Left in a critical condition, he was airlifted from Liverpool’s Walton Centre to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin at the end of May and has been receiving round-the-clock care since, with his family keeping vigil by his bedside.

Roma fan Daniel Sciusco, 29, appeared at Preston Crown Court today over his part in the chaos outside the ground.

Although he was involved in the disorder, he wasn’t involved in the Sean Cox incident, the court heard.

But in sentencing, judge Mark Brown said: “Sean Cox was injured during this violent disorder and that has an impact on the level of harm, even though Mr Sciusco was not directly involved in attacking him. We cannot simply ignore that.”

Prosecutor Keith Sutton said Sciusco entered a guilty plea on May 24, when the case was heard at Liverpool Crown Court.

The court heard he was wearing this clothing when he flew into Manchester and travelled with ultras. They arrived at Lime Street station at 6pm on the day of the match and headed through the city centre. Sciusco was seen walking in a large group that was heading to Anfield, frequently towards the front.

In CCTV images shown to the court, Sciusco was circled in blue and Sean Cox and his brother were also circled.

Cox was seen on the ground following a “skirmish”. In the video shown in court, the ultras could be seen using belts to attack people.

Sean’s brother Martin told the court that before the attack he heard lots of noise, “not in a good way”.

He turned to Sean and discovered him on the floor. When he tried to help Sean, he too fell on the floor and was kicked in the buttocks. Around they saw people in dark clothing with their faces covered.

While Sean was being treated outside the Albert pub, the disorder continued. A policeman saw Sean on the floor and then pockets of groups fighting.

Sciusco was later arrested on the concourse outside Anfield, having changed his clothing, the court heard.

seancox Sean Cox Merseyside Police Merseyside Police

The judge told Sciusco there was “no doubt in my mind” that the group of ultras were intent on violence.

He added: “You and others in the ultra group were armed with belts and chains and were being threatening and abusive towards the Liverpool fans.

“Inevitably that was extremely provocative behaviour.

“Bottles were thrown and during the early part of the incident Sean Cox was struck, causing him to fall over and strike his head on the floor. His brother went to his assistance and was assaulted as well. The footage shows that you were close by when it happened, though I am keen to stress you were not directly responsible for that assault.

“Nonetheless it did occur during the violent disorder in which you were a willing participant and it is relevant to the level or harm caused by it.

“I am entitled to consider the overall impact of the violent disorder in general.”

The judge added that “it seems to be a very important consideration that it had been your group which had provoked and caused the trouble”.

He said: “It is important to stress again you are not being sentenced for dreadful attack on Mr Cox but it did occur during the violent disorder of which you were a part. The impact on him and his family has been catastrophic.”

Judge Brown told Sciusco his actions “were a slap in the face to [Scouse] hospitality”.

Noting his guilty plea and sentencing him to two and a half years, he concluded: “This is undoubtedly a serious case of its kind involving large scale public disorder at a major sporting event and a lengthy prison sentence is necessary; violence at or around major league football matches cannot be tolerated and the public needs to be assured of this fact.”

Sophie McCoid and Dan Kay via Liverpool Echo