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Solihull man convicted of homophobic abuse at Vanarama National League game

|News, Hate crime

A Solihull man has been convicted of homophobic abuse at a football match.

Peter Wild, 54, was convicted today (13 May 2022) at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

On 28 December 2021, Wild hurled homophobic abuse towards a Solihull Moors football player at the Vanarama National League fixture between Solihull Moors and Stockport County FC during the first half of the game.

A West Midlands police officer overheard the offensive remarks which led to Wild being arrested. When Wild was questioned, he claimed that it never crossed his mind to be homophobic. However, he was convicted following the one-day trial.

Matthew Henson of CPS West Midlands said: “Peter Wild committed a homophobic offence when he made the derogatory comments at the football player. His actions were not just offensive to the football player but to the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. Football should be an enjoyable game and those who direct abuse at players ruin the game for all. There are no excuses for such hideous behaviour and the CPS will not hesitate to prosecute hate crime in circumstances such as these. We take a zero tolerance approach to hate crime of any kind.

“The CPS is currently working with the police, clubs, player bodies and football authorities to explain how these crimes are prosecuted and what information is needed to pass the charging threshold and build strong cases.”

Douglas Mackay, CPS Sport Lead Prosecutor, said: “Chanting at football matches can add to a great atmosphere but if it is homophobic in nature the CPS will take that conduct extremely seriously. There is no place for hate in our football grounds. Sport is inclusive and we will work closely with the football authorities, clubs and charities to drive hate away from the game.

“The impact on people who are challenged for their personal characteristics can be profound. Some people do not care about that and persist with hateful mob behaviour. We will not hesitate to prosecute anyone accused of these actions where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so.”

Peter Wild was fined £398 and ordered to pay costs of £500.

Notes to editors

  • Matthew Henson is a District Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands. 

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