A Sunderland AFC football fan has been fined for shouting racist abuse at an opposition player during a game at the Stadium of Light.
Emlyn Stobbart, 48, shouted, “Get up, you ***** ****”, to a Portsmouth player during a League One clash on Saturday, January 22.
Stobbart, of The Broadway, Grindon, was overheard by fellow supporters and reported, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.
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He initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress, insisting he had been misheard and had not used racist language.
The warehouse worker, who represented himself in court, told the hearing he was prepared to plead guilty only to causing harassment, alarm or distress.
But he changed his plea to the full racially aggravated charge after District Judge Paul Currer informed him he faced far higher court costs if found guilty at trial.
Prosecutor James Long said: “There were those in the crowd who heard the words, ‘Get up, you ***** ****’. There’s little to add.”
Judge Currer added: “It was the Portsmouth game and members of the crowd heard the defendant use the words ‘***** ****’ and telling him to get up.
“The defendant put forward that it was ‘daft ****’ rather than ‘***** ****’, and he took issue with that.”
The court heard Stobbart said he accepted the guilty plea so as to end the case against him.
Sentencing him, Judge Currer said: “You’re a man I can take as being of good character. I regard this as a one-off where you lost control momentarily.”
He fined Stobbart £250, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge, to be paid at £30 a month.