Spectator banned from football matches after racially abusing player


A man has been sentenced to a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work and banned from attending any football matches for five years after racially abusing a Brentford FC player.

Christopher Boyes, 32, from Southampton, shouted racist insults at striker Ollie Watkins as he took a corner kick during the Brentford v Derby Championship game on 26 September.

He was escorted out of Griffin Park Stadium by police officers.

Boyes was sentenced for a racially aggravated public order offence when he appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court today [Wednesday, 1 November]. He also received a football banning order stopping him from attending any matches for five years.

Under hate crime sentencing powers, Boyes saw his punishment increased from 150 hours of unpaid work to 200 hours, following an application for an uplift to the sentence by the Crown Prosecution Service.

London Crown Prosecution Service lawyer, Matthew Groves, said:

"This sentence sends out a clear message; hate crimes are serious offences and will not be tolerated.

"The words used by Boyes were racist, offensive and antagonistic. He will now pay for his actions through an increased sentence and he will also be prohibited from being a spectator at football matches.

"I hope this prosecution empowers victims of hate crimes to come forward and stop others from also being subjected to vile abuse."

Notes to editors:

1. Christopher Boyes [23.07.85] is from Totton in Southampton.

2. He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated public order on 11 October at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court.

3. Matthew Groves is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS London North.