Three-year football ban for Sunderland fan who made monkey gesture at Romela Lukaku

 

A football fan who directed racist monkey gestures at a striker who had just scored against his Premier League team has been banned from attending matches for three years.

Sunderland supporter Liam Jones, 22, was also given an 18-month conditional discharge after he admitted causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.

Jones, from East Vines in Hendon, was watching his team losing 2-1 at home to West Bromwich Albion when Belgian international Romelu Lukaku stepped up to score a penalty.

The fan could be seen shouting and cupping his hands towards his armpits in the background of photographs showing Lukaku celebrating his goal, in the game at the Stadium of Light on 24 November last year which Sunderland went on to lose 4-2.

Jones later told reporters he was doing a “chicken dance” and pleaded not guilty when the charge of a racially aggravated offence came before Sunderland magistrates.

A trial had been due to take place next month, but at a hearing last week the 22-year-old decided to plead guilty. Court officials confirmed he was given a three year football banning order and an 18-month conditional discharge.

Following a previous court hearing, Jones was photographed posturing as if he was going to spit towards members of the media.

After the case, Chief Superintendent Steve Neill of Northumbria Police, said: “Racist behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated and Northumbria Police will fully investigate any reports made to us.

“We know people who are responsible for these actions are part of a small minority and would continue to encourage anyone who sees this kind of behaviour to report it to us and help us rid football of any racism.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss