Police are probing claims that the wife of a football fan left seriously brain damaged by hooligans was subjected to vile abuse by their friends and family outside court.

A total of 13 Southend United fans were convicted of playing a role in an attack on Simon Dobbin, 45, a Cambridge United supporter who was attacked in East Street, Southend, at 7.15pm on March 21, 2015.

They were found guilty of a variety of offences on July 14 after a six-week trial at Basildon Crown Court.

When Mr Dobbin’s wife Nicole, 46, came out to speak to the media after the hearing she was subjected to a volley of verbal abuse.

One man, referring to entirely false counter allegations made by some of the defendants, told her: “Your old man was the most violent out of all of them.” And referring to Mr Dobbin’s injuries, which have left him unable to walk or talk, he added: “He’ll always be like that.”

Another woman shouted: “He went and smashed up 20-year-old boys.”

Eight police cars arrived to disperse the mob, after which Mrs Dobbin gave a statement to the media.

Several organisations filmed the unsavoury encounter and it is understood that police may base their investigation on the footage.

Speaking outside court, Mrs Dobbin said: “This was the right result, justice has been served for Simon.

“No matter what people say, we know he was innocent. They can make up stories if they like, but we know justice has been served.”

Speaking to the Echo, Mrs Dobbin said one woman outside court told her: “At least we will get our men back.”

She said: “They were like a pack of animals coming at me. How could any human being shout that?

“I just couldn’t believe how they wanted to target me.”

Police are now investigating whether an offence was committed by anyone in the group.

Echo: Brave - Emily, Simon and Nicole Dobbin

Twelve of the hooligans, convicted of either violent disorder or conspiracy to commit violent disorder, were jailed for a total of 42 years.

The charges were brought after it proved impossible to work out who had inflicted the damaging blows.

Detectives suspect another 12 men were involved in the disorder and are still investigating.

Another man was convicted of assisting an offender and handed an 18-month suspended sentence.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “We have launched an investigation into comments made outside the court after further discussion with Mrs Dobbin following the conclusion of the trial.”