Football fan convicted of homophobic slurs gets banned from matches for 3 years
A football fan has been banned from games for three years after being convicted of hurling homophobic abuse and making gestures which mimicked disability.
Jamie Arnold was arrested at the Wolves against Manchester United game last season after his offensive behaviour was reported to police by other home supporters.
West Midlands Police, who described Arnold’s actions as “disgraceful”, launched an immediate probe following complaints and with the support of the club and fans, gathered damning CCTV and witness evidence; headed by the force’s dedicated football hate crime officer, PC Stuart Ward.
Arnold refused to take responsibility for his appalling actions which were aimed towards the pitch, but was found guilty of a public order offence after a trial at Walsall Magistrates Court today (8 November).
The 31-year-old from Stone, Staffordshire, was given a Football Banning Order which means he can’t attend any match in the UK for three years. He was also ordered to pay almost £875 in fine and costs.
PC Ward, who was appointed the UK’s first dedicated hate crime officer within a football unit, said: “There is absolutely no justification for such vulgar actions.
“This was the first Wolves match with fans at Molineux following the pandemic and should have been a day of enjoyment. Instead, other supporters had to listen to and see vile behaviour.
“However, due to the support of Wolves and their supporters we were able to secure this conviction and a Football Banning Order.
“My role is to investigate any report of hate crime and that includes discrimination relating to sexual orientation and disability. We won’t tolerate any type of hate crime, and will always fully investigate and pursue punishment against offenders.”
Anyone who has been a victim of a football-related hate crime, or has information about an offence, needs to make a formal report by calling 101 or via the Live Chat service on the West Midlands Police website.