01:31PM, Monday 05 October 2020
A man from Slough has been convicted of a public order offence following a police investigation into homophobic abuse at a Premier League football match.
The Metropolitan Police opened an investigation after reports of several men making homophobic taunts towards visiting supporters at a match between West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion on February 1.
Two men were arrested during the fixture at the London Stadium on the day of the game.
Thomas Hill, 25, of New Road, Slough, and Samuel Marshall, 21, of Herbert Road, Hornchurch, appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court on September 3.
They pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act and were both fined £200 plus costs.
The investigation continued and on September 30 a further two men were convicted at Thames Magistrates’ Court.
Damian Critten, 24, of Farm Road, Rainham, and Jack Wood, 25, of Arbour Square, London, both pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.
They were each fined £120 and given three-year banning orders.
Chief Inspector Chris Green of Met Operations said: “This investigation and these convictions show that we will not tolerate homophobic behaviour or hate crime at football matches and more broadly in our city.
“If you have information about people committing these type of despicable offences, please share that information with police. These offenders may happen to support the same football team as you, but they do not deserve your support.”
A West Ham United spokesperson said: “West Ham United is unequivocal in its stance - we have a zero-tolerance approach to any form of discrimination.
"Equality and diversity is at the heart of the Football Club and we are committed to continue ensuring that everyone who enters London Stadium is free to enjoy watching their team play football in an inclusive environment.”
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