Fine and football banning order for man who racially abused footballer

|News, Hate crime

A Stoke City football fan has been fined £310 and received a football banning order for three years after he racially abused a footballer during a Stoke City versus Nottingham Forest game in September.

Carl Mason, 58, of Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, admitted his guilt today at Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates' Court of a racially aggravated public offence following the incident at Stoke City stadium on 27 September 2019.

Mason was in the stadium with his adult son watching the match, when spectators heard him shout out racial abuse towards a Nottingham Forest goalkeeper.

The comments made by Mason upset the supporters around him and he was confronted about the matter. After the match, the witnesses reported the matter to Stoke City and were then advised to call the police.

One witness, who was at the match with his four-year-old son, said: “I felt angry and extremely upset that the man had shouted racial abuse at the player. There is no place in modern society for racial abuse of any kind, and certainly don't want my own son to be witness to it. Football has got a bad name for racial abuse, and it needs eradicating.”

A second witness said: “Hearing him shout the racial abuse made me angry and it is not something that should be tolerated. I am not black but cannot even come close to knowing what effect that must have on anyone who is black. The football organisation as a whole is trying to eradicate racial abuse towards players and at games and I believe it is up to any person hearing the abuse to confront it and report it. It makes me feel sick that this still goes on.”

On 7 November 2019, Mason attended Hanley police station for a voluntary interview and fully admitted the offence. He agreed what he had said was wrong and hurtful, and said he was ashamed of the racist comment he made.

Today at the first hearing at Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates' Court, Mason pleaded guilty to using racially aggravated threatening or abusive words or behaviour with intent to cause alarm or distress.

He was fined £310 and was ordered to pay court costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £32. He was also given a football banning order for three years.

Timothy Bishop, for the CPS, said: “I would like to thank the two witnesses for coming forward and reporting this incident. Racism in football is unacceptable and causes serious distress. Carl Mason chose to use words that are racist to express himself and this has cost him dearly with a criminal conviction. Hate crime will not be tolerated in this day and age, and we will always seek to prosecute those who commit these crimes.”

Notes to editors

  • Timothy Bishop is a District Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands.

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