Saints supporter given football banning order over racist chanting
Steven Candy, a Southampton FC season ticket holder and a Saints fan for the past 25 years attended the Southampton FC v Chelsea FC fixture on 7th October 2018 at Saint Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.
During that match, he was heard by other spectators shouting racist abuse targeted at the Club’s Chinese owners and referring in derogatory terms to those of Polish and Pakistani backgrounds, which resulted in a number of spectators making complaints to the club and subsequently the police.
One witness said: ‘I think the club need to be aware of unacceptable behaviour that is becoming intolerable from one alleged supporter in particular.(…) He was shouting abusive and racist comments particularly aimed at people from Poland, Pakistan and China (the owner in particular)'.
'Today it could have become violent as his racist comments triggered some heated exchanges.'
An investigation was then conducted by Hampshire Police, resulting in Mr Candy being suspended by the club. Mr Candy was subsequently charged following advice from the CPS and appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty.
Candy was fined £230, uplifted by £100 to reflect the racial element of the offence. A Football Banning Order of three years was imposed, which prevents the defendant from attending any regulated football match either in the United Kingdom or abroad.
Following the guilty plea, Julie Macey, for CPS Wessex, said: "Watching a game of football should be an enjoyable time that can be shared with family and friends. One should not be made to feel intimidated or receive abuse of any sort when watching a game.
"Steven Candy crossed the line between what could be considered normal football chants to shouting racist abuse, shocking more than one spectator around him, which led to other supporters contacting the club to report the defendant's escalating racist behaviour. Law-abiding football supporters and families should never be subject to hearing such abuse being shouted.
"The CPS takes such offending very seriously. The case was referred to our Football Specialist Prosecutor and it was agreed that we would apply for a Football Banning Order and ask the court to uplift the sentence to reflect the fact Steven Candy’s actions were racially aggravated.
"The Crown Prosecution Service will continue to work tirelessly with the police, the Football Association and clubs to tackle racism in sport. This case demonstrates that, where there is sufficient evidence to do so, we will prosecute perpetrators of such behaviour and seek banning orders against them. We hope that this case serves as a deterrent to other like-minded individuals. We would like to thank the witnesses in this case and would like to encourage others to report such incidents so positive action can be taken."
Notes to editors
- Julie Macey is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex
- Steven Candy (DoB 11/03/1974) pleaded guilty on 28 January 2019 at Southampton Magistrates’ Court
- He received a fine of £230 uplifted by £100 for racial aggravation