Zurich ice-hockey hooligan fined CHF 15,600

A 24-year-old member of group of hooligan supporters from the ZSC ice- hockey club in Zurich has been fined CHF 15,600 for his involvement in riotous and threatening behaviour by the Pickwick pub in the city in March of last year.

The idea of heading to the Pickwick pub was to goad EVZ fans into fight prior to a match between the two teams later that evening.

At 5.56 pm precisely, provocation by ZSC fans, their faces covered, began. Windows were broken and a banger was thrown into the pub, where, in all, damage to the tune of CHF 18,000 was caused. Fortunately, no actual fight between supporters of the rival teams took place, as the Zug fans were able to barricade themselves inside, the siege only coming to an end when the police arrived.

It was as the ZSC fans fled that the Zug police were able to stop one of their cars and arrest them. These were duly fined. However, one of them, the afore-mentioned 24-year-old, a specialist retail employee of Stäfa in the canton of Zurich and who has previous convictions, did not accept this initial ruling and took the matter further.

There he stood in the Zug criminal court, dressed in a suit, hair cropped very short, small, but of stocky build, declining to answer any questions, except one. Was he guilty of criminal damage?
“No,” he replied.

It was not that criminal damage was the issue. It was breach of the peace he had been charged with. For its part, the prosecution claimed anyone who was a member of a group of people who went on to commit criminal damage was equally culpable. Nor did the defendant just go along with the group, he was very much involved. Indeed, surveillance cameras showed a person involved wearing very similar clothing, the prosecution calling for him to be handed an unconditional fine equivalent to 90 days’ pay, i.e. 90 x CHF190, amounting to CHF 17,100, adding that it was important to nip such crime, as witnessed in some other Swiss cities, in the bud.

For his part, the counsel for defence pointed out discrepancies relating to the clothing worn by the person in the film and his client, discrepancies relating to whether a pullover had a zip, and the length of sleeves.

For her part, the lady judge ruled that there was critical period of time, three minutes, between the defendant apparently standing back from the incident, but then re-joining the group to get away. “Had the defendant been more willing to answer questions in this regard, a greater degree of clarity would have prevailed,” she said.

Having considered the circumstances, she was in little doubt the young man was indeed guilty of committing a breach of the peace and duly fined him CHF 15,600. However, his lawyer announced he would appeal.   

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