A football fan who shouted homophobic abuse at opposition fans during a Premier League match has been fined after he admitted indecent chanting.
A police officer heard Jason Holmes, 44, from Leicester, chanting a homophobic term at away supporters at the Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion fixture on Saturday 19 August.
Holmes was subsequently arrested and the CPS authorised a charge of indecent chanting, contrary to section 3 of Football (Offences) Act 1991.
He appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court today (14 Sep), pleaded guilty to the offence and was fined £300. This fine was increased from £250 due to the homophobic nature of the offending. He was also required to pay £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £30.
Prior to today's hearing, Holmes voluntarily attended an educational session provided by Kick it Out, the campaign against discrimination in football.
Janine Smith, from the CPS, said:
“The CPS takes all forms of discrimination seriously and has an important part to play in eliminating it from football. This offence was treated as a homophobic hate crime and Jason Holmes received an uplifted fine from the court.
“The role of the Criminal Justice System is to rehabilitate and prevent further offending as well as to punish. The CPS contacted Kick it Out about the educational sessions they provide and Jason Holmes was offered such a session to help him understand the full impact of his behaviour, which he attended.
“The contribution of Kick it Out to this case has ensured that, as well as facing the consequences of his actions, this defendant will understand why his actions were so unacceptable.”
Roisin Wood, Chief Executive Officer at Kick It Out, said:
“Through our work with the CPS and Leicester City Football Club, we were able to recommend a course of action which ensured that Jason would understand the full impact of his homophobic behaviour.
“At Kick It Out, we encourage rehabilitation through education for individuals or groups that act in a discriminatory manner, where appropriate. We believe this is the best way to ensure our messages of equality and inclusion are received and understood by anyone who discriminates.
“Over the past few years we have worked with supporters at numerous clubs to educate them on unacceptable behaviour and to understand what impact discriminatory actions could have on fellow fans.
“The sentence handed to Jason is a timely reminder that all acts of discrimination in football are against the law and can end up in banning orders or further prosecution.”
Notes to Editors
· Janine Smith is Chief Crown Prosecutor of CPS East Midlands