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EXCLUSIVE: Ticket touts nabbed in Arsenal Man U match operation fail to overturn banning orders

Emirates Stadium ticket touts

Leon and Kane Thomas were caught illegally selling tickets to an Arsenal match in December

A FATHER and son pair of football ticket touts have failed to overturn banning orders that prevent them going within two miles of a stadium in the run up to a match.

Leon, 53, and Kane Thomas, 20, were arrested alongside seven other suspected touts for selling Arsenal vs Manchester United tickets outside London Metropolitan University in Holloway, North London.

It was duting a police operation against ticket touts on December 2 last year.

They later each pleaded guilty to ticket touting and on May 8 this year were each hit with orders banning them from going within two miles of any regulated football match in the four hours before it and an hour afterwards.

Thomas senior was banned for four years and fined £120, while his son was banned for three years, with a £75 fine.

Illegal ticket touts have been known to sell to fans at over inflated prices or even fake tickets.

APPEAL: The pair were annoyed to face more costs without have the orders lifted

By putting fans from opposing teams in the wrong areas of the stadium, it can also lead to violence.

Yet, the two tried to get the orders lifted in an appeal at Blackfriars Crown Court.

The court heard that Weeks senior has several convictions for ticket touting and has been subject to a previous banning order.

However, it was the younger man, from Waddle Court Garden, Croydon, south London's, first offence.

Thomas senior argued that his order should be lifted as he has moved into a flat within two miles of Tottenham Hotspur FC's White Hart Lane stadium, and the order meant he could not be within his home on match days.

Judge Michael Simon rejected the appeal, but amended the order allowing him to be in a private house close to a stadium during the restricted times.

It was considered lifting his son's order, but this was left in place.

Judge Simon said: "The intelligence before us is that from a very young age Mr Kane Thomas has been implicated with a sense of the family tradition of his father of ticket touting."

He said he believed if he lifted the order, the son would simply continue the family business.

He amended the order so he can also be in a private house, but also to state that if he secured work at a football ground, he could travel there on match days if he had relevant paperwork to prove the employment.

DANGER: Fans can be placed at risk if seated in the wrong area of the stadium

The pair moaned that their time had been wasted as they left the court room.

After last year's operation, Arsenal FC said in a statement: "We worked with the Metropolitan Police to mount an operation to combat ticket touts at the game against Manchester United.

"The operation resulted in the apprehension of nine suspected touts and the confiscation of hundreds of tickets. More than 200 Arsenal memberships were also cancelled for miss-use."

Stadium director John Beattie said: “We work on an on-going basis to minimise the activities of touts. Our fans are the people who suffer, either through paying inflated prices or receiving counterfeit tickets. We would remind supporters they should only ever buy tickets through official club channels.”

Inspector Steve Murfin of Islington Police said: “The Metropolitan Police Service are pleased to work in partnership with Arsenal Football Club and Islington Council at reducing the supply of illegal ticket sales which can result in disorder within the stadium.”

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