08 June 2023

Man, 27, in court accused of flying drone over play-off semi-final

08 June 2023

A man has appeared in court charged with flying a drone above a football match – causing the game to be halted.

Lewis Franks, 27, allegedly flew a drone above Chesterfield’s Technique Stadium in Derbyshire at 5.20pm on May 7 during the club’s game against Bromley in the National League play-off semi-final.

Referee Scott Simpson took the players off the pitch for several minutes, in line with safety protocols, before the device was seen to land, police said.

Franks appeared before magistrates in Derby on Thursday.

Wearing a dark raincoat over a white shirt and black tie, he spoke only to confirm his name and give his personal details.

No pleas were entered during the 10-minute hearing and the case was adjourned.

Franks, of Allsops Place, Chesterfield, was given unconditional bail to appear next at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court on June 19.

He is charged with flying a drone above assemblies of people, flying beyond visual line of sight, failing to register as a drone operator and failing to display an operator ID on the drone used by a remote pilot.

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