Grays boss accused of organising football violence in Dagenham walks free
PUBLISHED: 16:16 09 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:16 09 July 2013
The owner of Grays Athletic slammed police and prosecutors who tried him for organising football violence in Dagenham after the case against him was dropped today.
Andy Swallow, 53, walked free after prosecutors decided not to retry him after his trial collapsed.
He was said to have plotted ‘mass violence’ between Millwall and West Ham fans at the Eastbrook Pub in Dagenham Road.
Swallow had been involved with the notorious Inter City Firm (IFC) of West Ham fans many years ago but insisted he was the victim of a police vendetta.
“It was rotten prosecution. There was never any evidence against me. My IFC days were a long time ago,” he said.
Aidan Andrews, 41, was also cleared of conspiracy to cause violent disorder after the prosecution opted not to try them and offered no evidence.
But Shaun Sheridan, 43, admitted conspiracy to cause violent disorder and Shane Flexon, 26, admitted using threatening words and behaviour and both could face jail.
Prosecutors claimed Swallow and his co-defendants tried to arrange a brawl when Millwall travelled to Dagenham and Redbridge for the third round FA Cup tie on January 7 last year.
Fans gathered at the Eastbrook pub and there were minor scuffles at the bar and near to the ground.
Swallow, a record producer who has handled acts like Craig David, insisted he had been in the bar co-incidentally and had left the match to see Grays play.
Swallow, of Biscayne Avenue, Blackwall, east London, Flexon, of College Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, Andrews of St James Square, Bermondsey and Sheridan of Longfield Estate, Bermondsey, had all denied conspiring to commit violent disorder.
Earlier the judge ruled it would be unfair their trial to continue when he wrongly allowed evidence of the bad character of six other men connected to the case to go before the court.
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