Football fan is banned for racially abusing opposition player

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The Independent Online

A football fan was banned from attending matches in England and Wales for five years and fined £1,000 yesterday after he admitted racially abusing the Birmingham City player Dwight Yorke.

A football fan was banned from attending matches in England and Wales for five years and fined £1,000 yesterday after he admitted racially abusing the Birmingham City player Dwight Yorke.

Jason Perryman, 22, a Blackburn Rovers supporter, was caught on television cameras making monkey chants and gesturing towards Yorke during a match at Ewood Park on Sunday, just days after England's black footballers encountered racism in a friendly match against Spain in Madrid.

Appearing at Blackburn magistrates' court, Perryman, of Chorley, Lancashire, admitted to an offence of racially aggravated disorderly behaviour. He was ordered to stay away from football grounds until 2009 - the maximum ban available to the court - and fined £1,000 with £75 costs.

Passing sentence, John Fryer, chairman of the bench, said: "You racially humiliated Dwight Yorke in public by actions as well as words. There is no place in football or anywhere else for racist behaviour."

David Macro, for the prosecution, said Yorke had expected some "jibes" but, while warming up on the touch line, he became aware of the racist taunts. He confronted Perryman over the monkey chants and gestures, telling him he was "out of order", the court heard. Perryman was then ejected from the ground by stewards.

Michael Singleton, for the defence, said Perryman had been drinking before the match and was ashamed of his behaviour. He became aware of a nationwide appeal the day after the game and went to police, where he was shown a videotape of the incident. Mr Singleton said: "Mr Perryman was appalled by what he saw. It's his intention to publicly apologise to Dwight Yorke and Blackburn Rovers."

A second fan, David Ashcroft, 21, of Leyland, Lancashire, pleaded not guilty to the same offence and was bailed to reappear on 22 December.