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Oct 22, 2012

Fan jailed after attack on Kirkland

The Leeds United fan who attacked Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has been jailed for 16 weeks.

Aaron Cawley, 21, from Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to assault and invading the pitch during Sheffield Wednesday's home match against Leeds on Friday night.

Cawley, who appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court, was arrested after Wednesday 'keeper Kirkland was pushed in the face during the game at Hillsborough.

The incident was one of a number of ugly scenes at the Yorkshire derby, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Kirkland, who has played for England, was shoved to the ground moments after conceding an equaliser in the 76th minute.

Cawley was caught on camera running from the Leeds fans onto the pitch and pushing Kirkland in the face before running back into the crowd.

Mr Macaulay said Cawley told officers he had drunk a number of cans of lager on Friday morning, followed by three-quarters of a litre of vodka - all before he got to Sheffield by train. Once in Sheffield, he had a further seven to 10 pints of cider, the court heard.

A statement on Leeds' website read: A club spokesman said: "We are pleased to see the matter dealt with by the courts so quickly. We note that he has been given a 16-week jail sentence and a five-year banning order.

"The club will also ban the individual for life from Elland Road when this banning order expires. While we are pleased to see justice brought so quickly, our one disappointment is that we feel the sentence could, and should, have been considerably longer."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report