March 13, 2018 02:04:49by

Russian football hooligan is charged with attacking England fan

Russian football hooligan is charged with attacking England fan

An alleged Russian football hooligan was in custody in France today after being charged with attacking an England fan with an iron bar and leaving him paralysed.

The 31-year-old suspect who has not been named, is alleged to have carried out the brutal assault before England's European Championships game with Russia in Marseille in June 2016.

He is said to have repeatedly hit Andrew Brache, a 51-year-old from Portsmouth, causing brain injuries, smashing a number of bones, and paralysing the left side of his body.

Today, Xavier Tarabeux, the Marseille prosecutor, confirmed the Russian faced up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of 'violence carried out in a group carrying weapons, causing permanent disability'.

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He is likely to be kept in prison on remand until his trial later this year. Sources close to the case suggested he has denied any wrongdoing.

The Russian was said to have been part of a highly-organised gang of thugs who ran around the Mediterranean port city targeting England supporters.

Mr Brache was badly beaten up before French police officers used cardiac massage to resuscitate him.

The Russian was first arrested by German police in mid-February during a stopover in Munich while on his way to watch Spartak Moscow in Bilbao, Spain.

This prompted a protest from the Russian Ambassador, as other Moscow football fans launched a campaign to support him.

He was identified on Russian social media sites as 'Pavel', but this first name has not been confirmed by the French.

Denis Mikerine, Russia's Ambassador in Berlin, said at the time that: 'We consider this case to be a possible way of exacerbating and politicising football hooliganism ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.'

Many believe that military-style Russian hooligans will renew their grudge with England fans during this summer's contest.

The Marseille clashes left 35 people injured, including Stewart Gray, another England fan aged 48, who was particulary badly hurt after being hit over the head with a brick and a chair.

France has already jailed three Russians and deported more than 20 others over the violence, but only over relatively minor offences.

Six England fans were also sent to prison for short periods and then banned from France after being caught fighting and throwing bottles.