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Newcastle fan pleads guilty to Nazi salute

|News, Hate crime

A Newcastle football fan who made a Nazi salute towards Tottenham Hotspur fans during a match has pleaded guilty to causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm and distress.

Shay Asher (24) of Gibside View, Winlaton pleaded guilty to the charge, relating to an incident at a football match between the two teams at St James’ Park in October of last year. 

During the course of the match, Asher had been caught on camera making the offensive gesture towards the stands where the Tottenham supporters were seated, but he fled the ground when confronted by a steward. Asher subsequently contacted Northumbria Police himself, after a photo appeal was made via their Facebook page.

Andrew Waters, Football Lead Lawyer of CPS North East said: “The actions of Shay Asher on that day were condemned, rightly, by supporters of both teams.

"Thanks to the efforts made by both Northumbria Police and Newcastle United Football Club to ensure the safety of crowds at matches, high quality video footage of Asher’s actions was captured and then used to identify him.

"The Crown Prosecution used this evidence to help build a robust case against Asher, leading him to plead guilty to this offence.”

Nationally, the CPS continues to work closely with the Police, clubs, player bodies and organisations, in order to tackle Hate Crime in football. It has worked with the Premier League, the English Football League and the Football Association, explaining what evidence is required to build the strongest case possible against those involved in such offences to help protect players and fans alike.

Douglas Mackay, National Lead Prosecutor for Sport, at the CPS added: “Over recent years and months, Hate Crimes relating to sporting events have been on the rise. A recent UK Football Policing Unit mid-season report has shown a significant rise in football-related criminality compared to pre-pandemic levels.

"At the CPS, we play a crucial role in tackling these crimes and making our national sport inclusive and safe to watch. There is no place for hate in football, and hate crimes such as this have a significant impact on victims.”

Notes to editors

  • Shay Asher was fined £200, ordered to pay £85 costs with a victim surcharge of £34. A further hearing is to be scheduled for July in relation to a football banning order. 

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