Pool fan convicted in court over restaurant vandalism

The poorly son of a controversial football club chairman today took time out from fighting his illness to give evidence against a fan.

Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 10:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 3:18 pm
Sam Oyston

Sam Oyston, 23, son of Blackpool FC chairman Karl and grandson of The Seasiders’ owner Owen Oyston is currently having treatment for a serious illness, as revealed in today’s Gazette.

He is expected to spend a lengthy time in hospital having treatment.

However, he appeared via video link to Blackpool Magistrates’ Court to give evidence in the trial of 26-year-old Mark Rushton.

Roofer Rushton, of Riversway, Layton, was found guilty of criminal damage worth £561 to plants and plantpots outside Sam Oyston’s new bar and restaurant, Hellfire on Blackpool Promenade.

Mr Oyston of Quernmore Hall, Lancaster, spent 20 minutes giving evidence.

Prosecutor Adrian Hollamby played footage from the bar’s security cameras to the court and Mr Oyston said he recognised the culprit as Rushton.

He had previously come face to face with Rushton on the Blackpool FC car park and recognised him from profile pictures on Facebook and other social media and pictures used in The Gazette.

The court heard that Rushton was sent to jail for three months for a previous crime of invading the directors’ box at Bloomfield Road.

He also has convictions for criminal damage at Accrington Stanley FC and for setting off a smoke bomb.

He is currently on remand in prison awaiting Crown Court sentence after pleading guilty to a bar room assault.

Mr Oyston told the court: “I recognise Rushton from the footage. I have seen him on Facebook when I am told he has posted there. I want to see what rubbish and ridiculous posts he has made about me and my family.

“It is a brief clip on CCTV but it is him. He boasts about what he does on fans’ message boards.” Magistrates heard that Rushton gave a no comment interview when arrested apart from saying he thought he had some sort of anti-harassment order against him about Karl Oyston.

Rushton made a personal attack on Mr Oyston from the witness box.

He said: “I don’t believe the man I have seen on TV was Sam Oyston. He is too small not the tall young man I know.”

Referring to the car park incident, Rushton said: “I was there to hand over a legal response and when I gave it to Sam Oyston he became arrogant, cocky and smug.

“I think this incident is trivial when you consider what this family have done to Blackpool FC.”

Rushton was fined £120 and when he was told to pay Mr Oyston £11.60 compensation he shouted:” I am not paying him a penny - add some time to my prison sentence.”

He was further remanded in custody pending the assault case sentence.