Why this woman was banned from every football ground in England

A woman who ripped up the pages of a Koran at Birmingham's St Andrew's stadium has been banned from every football ground in England and Wales for three years.

Middlesbrough fan Julie Phillips, 51, claims she did not know it was the holy book of Islam and was merely trying to make confetti with her friend.

However, a judge at Teesside Magistrates' Court said she had "underplayed" her role in the incident when passing the order.

A trial at Birmingham Magistrates' Court in May had found Phillips and another woman guilty of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress, fining them both.

Cleveland Police, who subsequently appealed for the widespread stadium ban, said this was just one of a number of incidents involving Phillips.

She was arrested at the game between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough last December after allegedly racially abusing a steward at the game and the court heard that on a train travelling back from another game she was drunk and abusive towards British Transport Police and shouted and swore at opposition fans.

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