AN OXFORD United fan who injured a woman when he threw a bottle from the upper tier of a stadium has been banned from all matches for five years.

Vinnie Eastman, of Totteridge Road, High Wycombe threw the bottle at the Stadium of Light during Sunderland's first League One game against Oxford United on August 3.

The 27-year-old, who was at the match supporting Oxford, was on the top tier of the north stand and threw the plastic bottle from the top of the stand shortly after the visitors had scored in the first half.

The bottle hit a Sunderland fan who was sat in the lower tier in the back of the neck.

The Oxford Times:

Police were alerted to the incident and an investigation was launched - and Eastman was arrested and later charged with throwing a missile within a designated football match and common assault.

On Monday, August 5, he admitted both offences at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

He received a five-year football banning order and was also given an 18-month community order.

He was handed an eight-week curfew and was ordered to pay compensation and a victim surcharge.

Chief Inspector Steve Readdie, of Northumbria Police, said the injuries suffered by the woman who was hit could have been much worse.

He said: "It is totally unacceptable to throw a missile inside a ground – under any circumstances.

“A woman who was sat in the lower tier of the ground was injured as a result of Eastman’s irresponsible actions, and given the distance that the bottle travelled, it could easily have been more serious.

“The overwhelming majority of supporters behaved responsibly and enjoyed the first game of the season.

“However, this should act as a reminder that anyone who endangers the lives of others will be dealt with robustly, and Eastman is now banned from every football stadium in the UK for the next five years."

The order forbids Eastman from attending any regulated football match in the UK until 2024, which includes Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two and National League fixtures, as well as England home internationals.

It also prevents him from travelling abroad to watch international friendlies, qualification matches and tournaments.