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Five British citizens fined 100 leva each for disturbing the peace in Varna

Date: 03.04.2009

A court in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Varna found five British nationals guilty of hooliganism, fining them 100 leva each after the group was involved in a rowdy incident in the late hours of April 1 2009, Bulgarian news agency BGNES said.

The men were all aged between 19 and 20 years, BGNES said. They were part of a bigger group who started breaking the windows of a newspaper stand and kicking refuse bins in the early hours of April 1 2009 on Varna's central Knyaz Boris 1 boulevard.

Two witnesses told the court that they had asked the group to stop making noise. The Brits refused and police were called. When police arrived, the group tried to run away and hide in the alleys. Police caught eight and arrested them.

The young men told the court that they were students at an university near Birmingham and were all part of the local football team. Every year the team organised trips abroad and this year they chose Bulgaria.

According to BGNES, the young men admitted that they were under the influence of alcohol when disturbing the peace. One of them admitted breaking the window of the news paper stand and presented a receipt proving that he had paid for the damage.

Three of the British tourists were acquitted for lack of evidence. The court ruling is not a subject to appeal and all of the five sentenced British citizens have paid their 100 leva fines and been released.

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