Football fan admits racist chants
A FOOTBALL fan has appeared in court after he was charged for shouting anti-Welsh chants at Swans fans during a match at the Liberty.
James Simpson, had travelled with the Stoke fans for a match against Swansea on January 19 – his 19th birthday.
He was heard by a steward shouting “You Welsh *****”.
The steward said she was used to fans shouting at each other and described most of it as being “nothing new” but said she became concerned about Simpson’s behaviour.
Prosecutor Laura Carthew said: “She’s used to dealing with fans but she was aware the crowd seemed quite animated.
“She described the defendant, who she had to warn on a number of occasions, as jumping over seats and gesturing with his hands.
“She asked one of the men in his company to tell him to calm down,” said Mrs Carthew.
But Simpson, of Wavertree Avenue, Scholar Green, Stoke-on-Trent, continued chanting so she approached him.
The steward said: “What you’re shouting, it’s racist.” Simpson replied: “No it’s not.”
The steward then told Simpson he would be asked to leave if he did not stop chanting.
When he continued, he was removed from the stadium.
“She believed that the chanting was racist in its nature and he shouted it with little regard to the people around him,” said Mrs Carthew.
Simpson, who had no previous convictions, admitted a racially aggravated public order offence.
The match was won by Swansea 3-1.
Lee Davies, representing Simpson, said: “The defendant admitted his actions in interview.
“In terms of what he’s done he is clearly not the only one who has been chanting that day but this particular defendant has been singled out.
Mr Davies said: “I think it needs to be said that they (the Stoke fans) were no doubt also subject to a lot of abuse from the home fans.
“Anyone who has been to a football game knows how it works. Home fans chant at the away fans and away fans at the home fans.
“The steward was clearly offended by it but I am surprised because she works there every week, but the defendant takes it at face value,” added Mr Davies.
He said Simpson was celebrating his 19th birthday on the day of the offence. “He spent the majority of that day locked up in Swansea central police station. You could argue he has already been punished,” said Mr Davies.
City magistrates fined him £110, told him to pay costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge.