English football fan jailed for pushing Pole he mistook for Russian onto train tracks (VIDEO)
Christopher Cole, 32, was jailed for 10 years for pushing David Pietraszek, a Polish builder whom he mistook for a Russian, onto the live tracks of the London Underground on June 9 of that year.
Violence marred the 2016 UEFA European Championship match between Russia and England at Marseille’s Velodrome last summer; after the match, Russian hooligans broke into the English fan area, continuing the violence which began in the buildup to the game.
The clashes led Cole, who has prior convictions for violence, to take his frustrations out on 21-year-old Pietraszek, as he did not want England to be seen as “wusses” (cowards), a court was told, the Guardian reported.
Cole, who was drunk, picked an argument with Pietraszek as the two arrived at Bond Street station in Central London. Both were returning from their respective workplaces.
As passengers begin to fill the platform, CCTV footage shows Cole hurtling towards Pietraszek, who is standing near the platform edge, before pushing him hard on the side. The force sent Pietraszek onto the live train tracks just seconds before a train arrives.
Luckily, Pietraszek managed to scramble back to the platform. He was saved from electrocution thanks to his rubber-soled footwear, but was treated at hospital for a broker finger and bruising to his back so severe doctors thought it was burns after feeling electricity charge through his body when landing on the track.
Cole fled the scene but was later arrested and pleaded guilty to attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent at a subsequent trial, during which he bizarrely claimed he was doing "the country's work." As he was being jailed he gave police the thumbs up.
The ruling came as this weekend, Vladimir Markin, the head of the Fan Safety Committee of the Russian Football Union, promised there will be no repeat of the ugly clashes between England and Russian football fans at the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.
“A repeat of the Marseille events won’t happen here, for a number of reasons,” Markin told the media after the first meeting of the Safety Committee on Friday, TASS reported.
“What happened in Europe and the way it will be here are two different things.”
Earlier this month, four fans of London club Chelsea FC were convicted of racist violence and given suspended prison sentences following an incident on the Paris Métro.
Chelsea fans chanted: “We’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it,” as black commuter Souleymane Sylla was pushed off a carriage by members of their group who were in town to watch their side play Paris Saint-Germain in February 2015.
The FIFA World Cup will be played in 2018 at 12 stadiums across 11 Russian cities, taking place from June 14 to July 15. It will be the first time the tournament has been held in Russia.
January 30, 2017, marks 500 days until the beginning of the tournament.