Two Southampton FC supporters who yelled abuse, mimicked the sound of hissing gas and made Nazi salutes at Tottenham Hotspur fans have been banned from attending matches for three years.
Thomas Flynn and Michael Haydon committed the offences at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium during a match on 19th December 2015.
Flynn, 22, of Yeovil Chase, Harefield, Southampton and Haydon, 23, of White Hart Lane, Cadnam, admitted a charge each of using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour in what was deemed a religiously aggravated public order offence.
They were barred from attending games in Britain and abroad for three years after being convicted at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, where prosecutor Charles Nightingale had described how Flynn, Haydon and another man were seen shouting antisemitic abuse including “gas the Jews”.
Mr Nightingale said one of the Spurs fans reported: “There was a white male raising his right hand and finger below his nose and making hissing sounds imitating gas escaping.”
After a steward notified police, Haydon was arrested at the ground, while Flynn was detained nearby. The court heard that the third man was never identified.
Haydon had been drinking since that morning, said his lawyer Jane Hiatt, and admitted making hissing sounds but denied saluting and shouting abuse.
In mitigation she said of the season ticket holder, who had attended games since he was aged five: “This is very out of character and a blip. He’s horrified and ashamed.”
Nicola Attwood, for Flynn, said her client — who was sober — also admitted hissing but denied making salutes. She said: “He is disgusted with himself and that he deserves a ban and that the people would be gravely offended by his behaviour.”
Magistrate Victoria Parker sentenced them to a three-year banning order preventing them from attending games in Britain and requiring them to hand passports to police before major games abroad.
They were also handed a 12-week community order and curfew, banned from going within a mile of St Mary’s Stadium four hours before and after kick-off on matchdays, and ordered to pay £145 in costs.
She said: “This was a very serious matter and watching you during these court proceedings I think you know that and are very ashamed of what you did.”