Derbyshire man jailed after mass brawl between football fans in Devon

Fugitive football fan Steven Dyke from Derbyshire has been jailed for his part in a mass brawl between Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle supporters.
Fugitive football fan Steven Dyke from Derbyshire has been jailed for his part in a mass brawl between Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle supporters.

A fugitive football fan from Derbyshire has been jailed for his part in a mass brawl between Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle supporters.

Steven Dyke pleaded guilty to affray last year but then went on the run from his home in Plymouth and vanished for almost 10 months.

He was one of a group of about 30 Argyle fans who interrupted their journey home from an away game against Portsmouth in April 2017 and went to confront City supporters at their unofficial base in the King Billy pub.

A mass brawl started inside the pub on New North Road which spread out onto the street outside and the junction of Sidwell Street and High Street.

All the others who took part received suspended sentences at Exeter Crown Court last November but Dyke jumped bail and went to live in Derbyshire.

He was arrested for shoplifting in Derbyshire last week and appeared by video link from jail, where he is serving an 18 week sentence for those offences.

Dyke, 43, of Weaver Close, Crich, and formerly of Plymouth, admitted affray and breaching bail and was jailed for a further 18 weeks by Judge Timothy Rose.

He told him the sentence could not be suspended because Dyke is already serving the other sentence.

The judge also made a football banning order covering the next four years.

He told him:”This was a serious incident in which a group deliberately went to the King Billy to see if they could cause trouble, and trouble is exactly what you got. There was serious disorder.

“It was obvious there was trouble going on. A significant fight broke out inside the pub and outside, where there were confrontations and threatening behaviour.”

Mr Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said the violence happened on April 14, 2017, when Plymouth fans returning from Portsmouth got off their train at Exeter Central and walked en masse to the King Billy.

The pub was full of Exeter supporters who had been at a home game against Barnet and a mass brawl ensued.

He said Dyke was seen on CCTV being thrown down the steps outside the pub, which has since closed.

He threw an object, thought to be a bottle, at Exeter fans at the top of the steps, then went up to confront them.

He was seen taking part in a second fracas later at the junction of High Street, where he partially covered his face with a scarf.

Miss Hollie Gilbery, defending, said Dyke had been out of trouble for eight years before the affray but had moved to Derbyshire in 2018 and fallen back into heroin addiction.

He is now in jail because he stole to feed his addiction but is keen to work with the probation and addiction services to address his issues on his release.