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Freelance photographer in new twist after court date on public order charge

A freelance photographer, who was removed from Mansfield Town FC’s Field Mill ground, claims he has been banned from covering further matches there.

Dan Westwell says he has been told by club officials that he is not welcome back to Field Mill, either as a press member or spectator, until further notice.

The move follows his arrest on January 20.

He appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Friday, accused of disorderly behaviour under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, and was bailed until February 9.

He is yet to enter a formal plea.

The photographer, who covers Mansfield Town matches for the Nottingham Evening Post and Mansfield Chad, complained of humiliation this weekend too, as the club played away at Chester City on Saturday.

Before the away game he says he was told by Chester City staff that he would not be allowed into the Saunders Honda Stadium.

After pleading with officials was eventually told he could cover the match from a near-deserted part of the stands, under the watchful eye of stewards.

Dan said: “I felt humiliated at Field Mill last Saturday, but this was a new level.

“I felt like a leper, forced to sit on my own with about 300 seats to myself, away from everyone, not allowed to go pitch-side.

“Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?”

The photographer had been pitch-side at Mansfield Town’s home match on January 20 when he was asked by stewards to leave the ground, and was then arrested.

Tensions among the crowd had been running high, with loud chants against Mansfield Town FC owner Keith Haslam.

No one from Mansfield Town FC was available to comment.