Football fan banned for making racist gesture at Leeds supporters
A football supporter has been banned from all football grounds in England and Wales after making a racist gesture at Leeds United fans
Gareth Smith, 28, of Dalton, Huddersfield was banned for three years from all England games by Huddersfield Magistrates after being found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence in a game last December.
The conviction has been welcomed by Huddersfield Town FC and West Yorkshire Police, who described his behaviour as provocative and distressing.
Smith was convicted for his actions in the Huddersfield Town versus Leeds United match on December 1 in which he was spotted making a Nazi salute type gesture towards Leeds fans.
He was spotted and ejected from the ground by Huddersfield stewards who reported the matter to police afterwards.
As a result of his actions he has now received a three year football banning order preventing him from going within a mile of Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium up to three hours before kick off on match days.
The 28-year-old has also been banned from going within five miles of a stadium where Huddersfield are playing on match days and must surrender his passport before England games.
Supt David Lunn from West Yorkshire Police said: We welcome the conviction of Gareth Smith in court today for his provocative and distressing behaviour during the game which clearly caused great offence.
“The conviction sends a strong message that such behaviour will not be tolerated by either Huddersfield Town Football club or West Yorkshire Police. We work closely with the football club to tackle abusive behaviour and the consequences for those caught can be severe and long term.”
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