Millwall fan banned and fined for ‘shocking and disgusting’ racist abuse
A Millwall fan who hurled ‘shocking and disgusting’ racist abuse at Marlon King has been banned from football matches for three years and handed a £300 fine.
Matthew Barnes, 31, was captured on film saying ‘I’ll break your f****** ankles you black c***’ during a volatile match with Birmingham City at The Den last October.
The covert film was part of a Sky Sports investigation to lift the lid on racism in British football, and Barnes was arrested earlier this year after he was identified by Millwall officials.
Mr Adrian Crossley, prosecuting, told Bromley Magistrate’s Court: “The offence was seen by Sky Sports News who happened to be doing a documentary at the time on racism.
“On the day in question the defendant was at a game between Millwall and Birmingham City and was seen to shout ‘I’ll break you f***ing ankles you black c***’.
“This was directed at a player on the field.”
Barnes pleaded guilty to racially aggravated public disorder.
The court heard how Barnes’ 16 year-old stepson was at the match he hurled the racist abuse, but he was in a different area of the stadium and would not have been able to hear the tirade.
But District Judge Nigel Dean said that other fans would have been left ‘disgusted’ and ‘insulted’ by the racist tirade.
He said: “People have to sit next to people who used this kind of language and they are going to be shocked and disgusted, and a number of people will be present with young people.
“To have someone use that language of racial abuse, it is not victim free. Everyone who sits in the vicinity has to put up with him.
“The fact remains that you accept that in a public venue where people are going to be entertained on the football pitch you used words and language that were not only abusive, but racially abusive.
“Your behaviour would have been insulting to all within hearing distance of you and in these circumstances it seems to me to be appropriate to fine you.”
Andy Horsman, defending, said Barnes is full of ‘shame and remorse’ and risked losing his job because of the racist incident.
He said: “The incident was a volatile match and atmosphere and it was at that stage that Sky covertly record is made of Mr Barnes. Those three seconds have been described as a moment of madness.
“He has shown complete shame, complete remorse, it is completely out of character. He was swept along in this volatile atmosphere. He knows he was wrong and that he will be punished.”
He was handed a three-year football banning order and ordered to pay £300 fine, £85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £30.
The 31 year-old. who was accompanied to court by his elderly father, declined to comment on the sentence as he left court.
From Daily Mail