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Charlton Athletic fans jailed after Stephen Lawrence racist abuse on train
SEVEN Charlton Athletic fans have been banned from football for a total of 52 years today after they chanted racist songs praising Stephen Lawrence’s murderers on a train last year.
The men, from areas including Abbey Wood, Orpington, Woolwich and Grove Park, were sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court to more than six years in prison in total after being found guilty of racially aggravated fear of violence.
The racial and sexually abusive language came after an FA Cup match between Fullham and Charlton Athletic, and shocked passengers on a Putney to Waterloo train on January 7.
British Transport Police (BTP) detectives launched an investigation after the group chanted about Gary Dobson three days after he was convicted of murdering Stephen Lawrence at an Eltham bus stop.
Detective Sergeant Jane Hill said: “The actions of these men were both offensive and extremely intimidating to other passengers on board the train at the time.
“An investigation was swiftly launched to gather evidence and by working closely with Charlton Athletic FC, coupled with excellent CCTV footage, intelligence reports and statements from witnesses, we were able to move quickly to trace the men.”
Baljit Ubhey, the Crown Prosecution Service’s London chief Crown prosecutor, added: “These men were singing and chanting racist abuse in praise of the convicted murderers of Stephen Lawrence.
“To glorify and idolise these men was disturbing and upsetting.
“Their racially and sexually abusive language left members of the public shocked and disgusted. Witnesses said they felt intimidated and feared there was a real and significant risk of violence..
“I hope these convictions stand as a warning that racist and abusive behaviour will not be tolerated in our city.”
The men are: David Bone, 23, of Tivoli Gardens, Woolwich, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and given an eight-year football banning order.
Daniel Clay, 31, of Baring Road, Grove Park, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and an eight-year football banning order.
Sean Fowle, 25, of Smithies Road, Abbey Wood, was sentenced to eight months in prison and an eight-year football banning order.
Jake Embery, 22, of Mickleham Road, Orpington, was given six months in prison suspended for 18 months. He also received a curfew order for six months between 8pm and 6am and a four-year football banning order.
Aaron Phinbow, 25 ,of Abbey Wood Road, was given eight months in prison and an eight-year football banning order.
Jason Butler, 31, of Mottisfont Road, Abbey Wood, was given 12 months in prison and an eight-year football banning order.
Ben Boylett, 26, of Lamberton Street, was given 12 months in prison and an eight-year football banning order.
Speaking after the sentencing, head of operations at Charlton Athletic FC Mick Everett said: “Charlton Athletic is widely recognised as one of the most successful football clubs in the country at promoting social inclusion, building community cohesion, and tackling racism.
“The club was shocked to hear of the rowdy, intimidating behaviour, and the chanting of racist songs on a train by a handful of our supporters.
“Their actions are totally condemned by everyone at the club and indeed, I am sure, by Charlton supporters everywhere.
“We have been a pioneer of anti-racism and anti-discrimination initiatives in football for over 20 years.
“Although this isolated incident does not reflect on the overwhelming majority of our fans, these arrests are a kick in the teeth to everyone associated with the club, who have put so much effort into our campaign over the years.
“British Transport Police should be applauded for the thorough and professional investigation that they have carried out over a long period of time.
“The club will now look to impose additional appropriate sanctions on those involved.”
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