A SOUTHEND United fan told a court he did not conspire to attack rival supporters before an incident that left a man with serious brain injuries.

Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin, 42, was left with a serious brain injury after being assaulted in East Street, Southend, at 7.15pm on March 21, 2015.

Ian Young, 41, of Brightwell Avenue, Westcliff, denies conspiracy to commit violent disorder and assisting an offender.

Basildon Crown Court heard there was an exchange of text messages and phone calls between Young and co-defendant Michael Shawyer between 2.49pm and 3pm.

Matthew Bagnall, defending, said: “You understand the suggestion by the Crown is that this communication is to invite you into a conspiracy to exact revenge on Cambridge supporters after a fight earlier on that day in the Spread Eagle. Is that what was discussed in the call?”

Young replied: “No.” He said the pair were discussing having a drink in the Railway Tavern, where Young lived in an upstairs room.

Mr Bagnall described an incident that took place outside the pub at about 4.35pm involving Cambridge fans and a second incident at the Blue Boar at about 5.45pm.

Mr Bagnall said: “There were a number of texts on your phone. One at 5.37pm reads ‘Just having a bit of trouble at football’. What did you mean by that?”

Young replied: “There had been trouble earlier outside of the pub.”

Young later sent a text to his girlfriend after she asked if he got beaten up. It said: “No, but waiting for them to come back”. Mr Bagnall asked why he sent the text. Young replied: “I’d been told by the landlord at the pub that there was a possibility the Cambridge supporters could come back.”


Simon Dobbin

Young can be seen on CCTV speaking with his co-defendants throughout the afternoon but did not go outside during the incident which left Mr Dobbin injured.

He is shown on CCTV again afterwards speaking to co-defendant Lewis Courtnell. Young denies allowing Courtnell to hide in his room.

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, asked about a photo of a business card, from the “CS Crew (Southend)” that was found on his phone. It said: “First we take your life, then we take your wife”. Young said the card was “comical”.

Mr Jackson asked if Young knew that co-defendant Ryan Carter had been knocked unconscious during an earlier incident at the Spread Eagle and whether he discussed it with Carter or others in the Railway, including Michael Shawyer. He replied: “He didn’t tell me anything.”

Young denied remaining at the bar to distract the landlord while others went to the Blue Boar to “flush out” remaining Cambridge fans, after the troublemakers had been sent home on coaches. He also denied noticing blood on Lewis Courtnell’s clothes.

Eleven men are charged with committing violent disorder and conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

They are: All deny conspiracy to commit violent disorder. They are:

  • Ryan Carter, 21, of York Road, Southend
  • Jamie Chambers, 24, of Coleman Street, Southend
  • Lewis Courtnell, 33, of Stadium Road, Southend
  • Philip McGill, 32, of Hornby Avenue, Westcliff
  • Scott Nicholls, 40, of Little Spenders, Basildon
  • Michael Shawyer, 31, of Belgrave Road, Leigh
  • Greg Allen, 29, of Western Avenue, Westcliff
  • Thomas Randall, 22, of Seaforth Avenue, Southend
  • Alexander Woods, 25, of Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff
  • James Woods, 25, of Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff
  • Matthew Petchey, 26, of Lascelles Gardens, Rochford

They chose not to give evidence in their defence. Judge David Pugh warned them that jurors may “draw inferences” from their decision.

Rhys Pullen, 21, of Bridge Road, Wickford, admits violent disorder. The trial continues.