Southend football fans jailed for Simon Dobbin attack

A group of football hooligans described as “a pack of animals” has been jailed over an attack which left a football fan unable to walk or speak.

Simon Dobbin, from Suffolk, was left brain damaged after the assault in Southend, Essex, in March 2015.

Three of the 12 men sentenced at Basildon Crown Court were jailed for five years for violent disorder.

Mr Dobbin’s wife told the court her husband had been given a life sentence through the group’s actions.

He spent a year in hospital as a result of the attack which happened after his team, Cambridge United, played at Southend United’s ground Roots Hall.

Det Ch Insp Martin Passmore, who led the investigation into the attack, said the men were like a “pack of animals”.

He said: “These are individuals that are mainly spending their time in pubs and drinking and looking for the opportunity to have fights with other so-called football fans/hooligans.”

In a victim impact statement, wife Nicole Dobbin said she “hates what these violent thugs have done to us”.

The offence of committing violent disorder carries a maximum term of five years in prison. The shortest sentence – 16 months – was given to Rhys Pullen, who pleaded guilty to the charge earlier in proceedings.

Eight men were found guilty of violent disorder. They were sentenced to the following:

Three men were jailed for conspiracy to commit violent disorder:

All of the men were given a 10-year football banning order.

Ian Young, 41, of Brightwell Avenue, Westcliff was found guilty of assisting an offender by hiding the group while police were conducting a search. He will be sentenced next month.

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