Seven football supporters jailed after chanting songs that 'glorify and idolise' the murderer of black teenager Stephen Lawrence

The Charlton Athletic supporters, who had been at an FA Cup match against Fulham on January 7 last year, were jailed for their abusive behaviour

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The Independent Online

Seven football supporters have been jailed for between eight and 18 months after they chanted songs that "glorify and idolise" the murderers of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

The Charlton Athletic supporters, who had been at an FA Cup match against Fulham on January 7 last year, were jailed for their abusive behaviour on a train from Putney to Waterloo.

The men, aged between 22 and 31, were convicted at Blackfriars Crown Court of causing racially aggravated fear of violence after witnesses complained of sexual and racially motivated abuse. Baljit Ubhey, prosecuting, said the language of the fans had left people "shocked and disgusted".

"These men were singing and chanting racist abuse in praise of the convicted murderers of Stephen Lawrence. To glorify and idolise these men was disturbing and upsetting."

"Their racially and sexually abusive language left members of the public shocked and disgusted. Witnesses said they felt intimidated and feared there was a real and significant risk of violence.

"I would like to thank the witnesses who came forward and gave evidence to support this prosecution. I hope these convictions stand as a warning that racist and abusive behaviour will not be tolerated in our city," he said.

Passengers on the train between Putney and Waterloo contacted police after hearing the group of men chanting songs about Gary Dobson - who had recently been found guilty of murdering black teenager Stephen Lawrence in April 1993.

British Transport Police, in collaboration with Charlton Athletic Football Club worked to identify the men leading to their arrest two weeks after the incident.

Mick Everett, Charlton FC's Head of Operations, said: "The club was shocked to hear of the rowdy, intimidating behaviour, and the chanting of racist songs on a train by a handful of our supporters.

"Their actions are totally condemned by everyone at the club and indeed, I am sure, by Charlton supporters everywhere.

"Although this isolated incident does not reflect on the overwhelming majority of our fans, these arrests are a kick in the teeth to everyone associated with the club, who have put so much effort into our campaign over the years.

"The club will now look to impose additional appropriate sanctions on those involved."

Detective Sergeant Jane Hill, from British Transport Police, said: "The actions of these men were both offensive and extremely intimidating to other passengers on board the train at the time.

"An investigation was swiftly launched to gather evidence and by working closely with Charlton Athletic FC, coupled with excellent CCTV footage, intelligence reports and statements from witnesses, we were able to move quickly to trace the men."

She added: "This minority blight the rail journeys of many ordinary passengers and stain the reputation of the game and the country. They also continue to cause us problems that require significant resources to contain."

The men received a variety of sentences and football banning orders.

David Bone, 23, and Daniel Clay, 31, from south-east London, were each jailed for 18 months and given an eight-year football banning order.

The same eight year match ban was imposed on Ben Boylett, 26, of Lamberton Street, London, and Jason Butler, 31, of Mottisfont Road, south east London, who were also given one year in prison.

Sean Fowle, of Smithies Road, Abbey Wood, and Aaron Phinbow, of Abbey Wood Road, Abbey Wood, London, who are both 25-years-old, also received an eight year ban and eight months behind bars.

Jake Embery, 22, of Mickleham Road, Orpington, London, was given a six month suspended sentence, a four year match ban and ordered to pay £3,000 costs.