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Football ban for supporter guilty of homophobic abuse at Premier League game

|News, Hate crime

A supposed football fan has been banned from watching live games for shouting homophobic abuse at a Premier League match.

Luke Reece, 21, was overheard yelling the abuse at nearby Brighton and Hove Albion fans by a member of staff at their game at the Amex Stadium on 2 October 2021.

Realising he had been spotted, Reece then attempted to leave the ground, but was stopped by staff and police and arrested.

Reece was today (5 April 2022) given a football banning order for three years and was fined and ordered to pay costs following a trial at Brighton Magistrates Court.

Richard Dawes of the CPS said: “There is no room for homophobia in society. The comments are unacceptable and would cause great offence regardless of the venue.  Brighton is known for its inclusive culture with a large LGBTQI+ community.

“Behaviour like this will not be tolerated and we are grateful to the member of staff at Brighton and Hove Albion for their prompt response in both recognising the hateful nature of this chanting and taking immediate action to deal with the situation.”

The CPS is currently working with the police, clubs, player bodies and organisations, like the Premier League, the English Football League and the Football Association to explain what is required to charge by ensuring we have all the evidence we need to build the strongest case possible.

Douglas Mackay of the CPS said: “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 has significant impact on victims.”

Notes to editors

  • Luke Reece (DOB: 26/05/2001) was convicted of indecent chanting at a designated football match and will serve a football banning order for three years.
  • Richard Dawes is the District Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East and CPS Football National Lead.
  • Douglas Mackay is the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands and the CPS Sports Lead Prosecutor.

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