A DRUNKEN man at a stadium has avoided a football ban as it is an "important element within family".

Brian Bullock, 47, of Windsor Crescent, in Middlesbrough, was found guilty of assault by beating and being drunk while trying to enter a sports ground, at Leeds Magistrates' Court last Thursday.

He pleaded not guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing.

Bullock was at Elland Road, in Beeston on December 2 last year, when Leeds United welcomed Middlesbrough for a Sky Bet Championship fixture, that the home side went on to win 3-2.

The 47-year-old was drunk while trying to enter the ground and also assaulted a woman while there.

The court ordered Bullock to pay £4,782 in total, which included a £2,880 fine, but he escaped receiving a football banning order.

Court records said the reason for this was: "Defendant works five weeks away from home with no contact with family.

"Football is important element within family and they would suffer detriment if unable to attend matches."

Bullock has a "small amount" of previous convictions but the court records said these are "dissimilar in nature and of some age".

The money Bullock has to pay also includes a surcharge of £1,152 to fund victim services, £650 in costs, and £100 in compensation.