Paramedic who made Nazi salute at Liverpool match gets football banning order

09/03/2015

A paramedic who made a Nazi salute to a German police officer at a Liverpool match has been banned from attending football matches for three years

South Sefton Magistrates Court heard that Jason Southall, 44, of Coppice Road, Walsall, made the gesture during the Liverpool v Aston Villa game on 13 September 2014.

Southall, who is a paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service, has been given a three year football banning order, a £500 fine and ordered to pay £300 costs.

The court heard that Southall was one of the away fans at the match at Anfield in Liverpool and had been drinking before the game.

He was spotted by police making a Nazi style salute towards the back of a police officer from Germany, who was at the game in her own police uniform, which had 'POLIZEI' written on the back.

The German police officer was on an attachment with Merseyside Police. Southall was seen to make the gesture twice.

The police officers were also approached by a steward  who had seen Southalls actions and they approached him and asked him to leave the ground.

Southall first of all denied making the salute and then said "How do you know it was towards the German police officer? I could have been doing it to someone in the crowd."

He refused to leave the ground. A woman, said to be Southall's partner, began arguing with the officials and became aggressive and attacked the police officer.

Southall was taken away and questioned. It became clear that several officials and stewards had seen him make the gesture.

Southall and his partner were arrested. Southall told police that he'd drunk about four or five pints of lager before the game but didn't usually drink as he is a paramedic.

He also admitted that his job made him aware that racist behaviour was unacceptable.

The German police officer was told of the incident and the arrest. She said she thought Southall's behaviour was highly offensive.

Southall denied the charge of racially aggravated harassment but was found guilty after a trial at South Sefton Magistrates' Court today (6 3 2015)

Angela Conlan, Senior Crown Prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Southall made a deeply offensive gesture to a German police officer just because he thought it was amusing.

"The Nazi salute is a highly objectionable gesture that is reminiscent of some of the worst behaviour of the previous century.

"It was directed at a woman who wasn't even born at the time of the last war, just because she is German.

"Southall is a paramedic and spends his working life presumably trying to help people. Why he chose this occasion to expose a different side of his character we may never know.

"What we do know is that his  behaviour was offensive and completely out of place in a football game that many people had travelled several miles to enjoy.

"The Crown Prosecution Service hopes this case shows that racist behaviour will not be tolerated wherever it shows its ugly face and however the perpetrators might try to laugh it off as harmless."