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By ESPN Staff

Three-year ban for fan who threw ''missile''

A 24-year-old has been given a three-year banning order and fined £200 after admitting throwing a ''missile'' during the derby between Cardiff and Swansea earlier this month which saw referee Mike Dean hit on the head by a coin.

However, he denied throwing the coin which struck and bloodied Dean's head during the clash between the Welsh rivals at Ninian Park.

David Roberts, from Pontypridd, south Wales, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Football Offences Act 1991 following the game on April 5.

Defending solicitor Vaughan Britton said Roberts had thrown a piece of chewing gum on to the playing area.

Following legal discussion, prosecutor Helen Gambrill agreed for the charge to be amended to ''throwing a missile'' rather than ''throwing a coin''.

District Judge Richard Williams fined Roberts £200 and ordered him to pay £60 towards prosecution costs and victim surcharge of £15.

He was also given a three-year football banning order.

Mr Britton told Cardiff magistrates' court: ''Mr Roberts has never been in any type of trouble before.

''It is not the case that he was arrested in connection with the coin that struck the referee.

''He accepts in interview that in flicking a piece of chewing gum towards the playing area he got swept up in the emotion of a local derby match between Swansea and Cardiff.

''He accepts he should not have done so and he accepts that the court has to deal with him.''

In making a plea not to impose a football banning order, Mr Britton added: ''The criminal justice system to him is a completely alien environment and it seems unlikely that he will be before the court charged with any criminal offence.''

Mr Williams said the fact Roberts allowed his ''feelings to run away'' from him meant a football banning order was required.

As he left court, Roberts declined to comment.

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