Two Russian hooligans who battered an English football fan into a coma and left him paralysed at the Euro 2016 tournament have been jailed.
Pavel Kosov, a 33-year-old truck driver, was jailed for ten years for leading the attack on Andrew Bache, 55, ahead of England’s opening match against Russia in Marseille.
PE teacher Mikhail Ivkine, 34, was sentenced to three years for hurling a chair at Mr Bache who now suffers from physical and mental impairment ‘somewhere between Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.’
Footage shows Kosov and Ivkine sprinting after Mr Bache and throwing their fists at his head as he desperately tries to run away with other English fans amid an ‘urban guerilla offensive’ by Moscow ultras that June.
Mr Bache, from Portmouth, was saved by a French police officer who administered CPR after his heart stopped beating.
Russians Pavel Kosov, a 33-year-old truck driver, and PE teacher Mikhail Ivkine, 34, were jailed for ten years and three years respectively for beating 55-year-old England fan Andrew Blanche (pictured) into a coma at Euro 2016
Mikhail Ivekine, a PE teacher (pictured during the violence), has been jailed for three years for his role in the attack. The court heard how he hurled a chair at Mr Bache
Kosov and Ivkine stood trial in the southern French port city accused of ‘gang violence with weapons, leading to permanent infirmity.’
The Spartak Moscow fans have been in custody in France since March 2018 after being picked up in Germany on their way to a European fixture.
Mr Bache’s son Harry, who now cares for his father, appeared at the court to face the thugs.
Mr Bache’s mental and physical impairment is ‘somewhere between Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s’, his lawyer told the court
Mr Bache’s lawyer, Olivier Rosato, said his client was ‘so physically and psychologically affected’ by the attack that he was unable to attend.
Speaking after the verdict today, Mr Rosato said: ‘It’s a decision that satisfies the family.
‘They wanted Kosov’s sentence to be severe because he was the first to punch Andrew, and from behind, causing him to smash his head on the ground, which was granite.’
Rosato said that the two have also been banned from returning to France after they have served their sentences.
Witnesses to the incident say they saw Mr Bache being caught by hooligans, and receiving three or four violent blows to the head, including while he was floored.
Mr Rosato said the accused were among a group of around 150 Russian men, many with martial arts training, who acted as ‘paramilitaries’ on that infamous day in Marseille’s Old Port district.
England fans had gathered there to drink before the match, but were systematically targeted by Russian ‘ultra’ thugs.
The violence then spilled over into the game itself, where Russian supporters rushed into the England stand after the game and caused further violence.
‘The pictures speak for themselves. Throughout the day, the Russian hooligans mounted an urban guerilla offensive, like paramilitaries,’ Mr Rosato said.
‘They treated it like a combat sport.’
Prosecutors say Kosov (pictured here in the turquoise blue shorts) threw the first punch at Mr Bache, leaving him in a coma
A French policeman saved Mr Bache’s life after his heart stopped beating (pictured: Mr Bache is treated as blood spills from his head across the flagstones)
French riot police treat Mr Bache who is covered in blood after the sickening attack in Marseille
A French officer gives CPR to Mr Bache after his heart stopped beating
The two men were arrested in Germany in February 2018, 20 months after Mr Bache suffered his life-changing injuries, while they were on their way to a Spartak match in Spain.
They were extradited to France soon after.
Kosov was living with his mother at the time of the violence and working as a driver.
He said he had jabbed at Mr Bache’s head ‘but it was a hand not a fist.’
The prosecution claims Kossov kicked the Briton in the hip as he lay unconscious but he said he ‘didn’t recall that.’
‘Anyway, it wasn’t intentional,’ he added.
The court heard how psychoanalysts had found that Kosov ‘lacks empathy’ and ‘hasn’t got a grip of reality’.
Ivkine, a sports teacher who has three children, told the court through an interpreter he had acted ‘in self-protection’ when confronted by a group of England fans.
‘I defended myself,’ he added.
He admitted throwing a chair towards Mr Bache ‘but it only grazed him.’
But prosecutor Christophe Raffin said: ‘It wasn’t legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache.’
Ivkine said he was a sports teacher who was passionate about ‘kick-boxing, traditional boxing and taekwondo, but also philosophy.’
The court heard that psychological analysis has shown Ivkine is ‘neurotic.’
The riots in Marseille’s Old Port district lasted for several days, both before and after a match between England and Russia.
Police fired tear gas and water cannons at rival fans who were rioting around the city, a largely unsuccessful attempt to rein in violence that authorities said left several people injured.
Some fans walked through the city bare-chested and with blood dripping from head wounds.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said at the time that ‘once again, as over the last 30 years, an international football competition has been the scene of clashes between violent people claiming to be supporters of their national team.’