Chelsea Paris Metro racism: Former policeman labelled a 'menace' after being given five-year ban from all football matches

Richard Barklie pushed a black man off a train twice and joined in chants of 'John Terry is a racist and that's the way we like it'

Jack de Menezes
Wednesday 22 July 2015 15:59

One of the Chelsea fans involved in an incident on the Paris Metro that involved a black man being racially abused and shoved off a train has been given a five-year banning order from all football matches.

Richard Barklie, 50, a former policeman and current human rights activist, admitted to pushing Frenchman Souleymane Sylla off a train twice before Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 clash with Paris Saint-Germain in February this year.

Mr Barklie said that he pushed Mr Sylla off the train – an act that can be seen in the video that was filmed on a commuter’s mobile phone – because he was using “aggression” to try and board the train while shouting.

The video also showed a section of fans chanting "we're racist, we're racist, and that's the way we like it" and "John Terry is a racist and that's the way we like it".

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On Wednesday, district judge Gareth Branston said that Mr Barklie was guilty of joining in with the chants and labelled the former policeman a “menace” and that he had “demonstrated aggressive, disorderly conduct.”

District Judge Gareth Branston told London's Stratford Magistrates Court: "This was an abhorrent, nasty, offensive, arrogant and utterly unacceptable behaviour and cannot be allowed in modern, civilised society.

"It must be stamped out."

He said Barklie, a former policeman in Northern Ireland and a director with the World Human Rights Forum, and Parsons were ringleaders.

The four men had denied they were racist and claimed Mr Sylla was only pushed off the train because it was "packed", not because he is black.

But footage was played to court showing some of the men join in the racist chanting as the Parisian was pushed.

In a statement read out in court, Mr Sylla told how he was "violently" forced off the train as Chelsea fans jeered and one pointed to his skin colour.

He said: "I again approached the carriage, explaining to this person I wanted to get back on the train.

"He didn't seem to understand what I said to him, and other supporters behind him were shouting and singing in English. As I don't speak English, I didn't understand what they said.

"Another person made a sign indicating to the colour of the skin on his face."

Barklie admitted twice pushing Mr Sylla - but blamed the Parisian for using "aggression" and shouting as he tried to board.

But on Wednesday district judge Branston said Barklie joined in the racist chanting of "John Terry is a racist and that's the way we like it".

And he said the former policeman "proved to be a menace" and had "demonstrated aggressive, disorderly conduct".

Parsons, who used to work for a finance company in Mayfair and lives in Dorking, Surrey, leaned out of the train and shouted "Where were you in World War Two?" and "F*** the IRA", the court heard.

The judge said Parsons displayed "aggressive and disorderly conduct as part of a pack of Chelsea fans".

Munday, of Sidcup, south-east London, is said to have joined in the racist chanting, an allegation he denied, insisting he was just "breathing".

He had earlier "fronted up" a man who was walking through Paris, pushing him twice before being told to calm down by police, the court heard.

Simpson, of Ashford, Surrey, also played a part in pushing Mr Sylla off the Metro train.

He has previously been arrested twice before for race-connected crimes, including once allegedly calling a taxi driver a "f****** Paki".

All men had denied being racist and fought the Metropolitan Police's attempt to give them a football banning order.

Additional reporting by PA

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