Scottish man banned from attending matches for abusing disabled fans


Scottish man banned from attending matches for abusing disabled fans

A Rangers fan who shouted abuse at disabled Falkirk fans has been banned from attending games for a year.


John Brown shouted "f*****g sp****c b******s" at the fans, many of whom were wheelchair users, at a Rangers home game in October.


The 25-year-old also made racist gestures directed at black Cowdenbeath player Kudus Oyenuga when he celebrated a goal at an earlier game.


Brown, from Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to two charges of engaging in behaviour which is likely or would be likely to incite public disorder.


He admitted shouting, swearing, gesticulating and uttering an abusive and offensive remark towards fans in an area for disabled fans, and to gesticulating towards Mr Oyenuga.


Sheriff Ian Anderson handed Brown a community payback order with the condition he must carry out 70 hours unpaid work. He was also given a football banning order for a year.


Procurator fiscal depute Lindsay Docherty told the court the first incident happened on March 28 at Ibrox.


When Oyenuga celebrated a goal Brown gestured towards the Cowdenbeath player and made monkey gestures. Witnesses informed police and Brown was arrested at the stadium.


The second incident took place on October 3 at a Rangers vs Falkirk match, also at Ibrox.


Ms Docherty said after Falkirk scored Brown reacted by shouting towards the team's away fans, and abusing disabled fans.


Following sentencing Stephen Ferguson, football liaison prosecutor for the west of Scotland, said: "Brown’s behaviour was utterly reprehensible and choosing to vent this kind of hateful abuse at football matches is no excuse at all.


"There is absolutely no place in modern Scotland for individuals who commit crimes motivated by prejudice towards a person's race or disability.


"Police and prosecutors take such offences very seriously and will continue to do all we can to bring those who persist in committing them to justice."


CAFE Managing Director Joyce Cook added, "It is appalling that disabled people are still being subjected to this vile abuse on the terraces. Disabled people are the largest minority in any population and disability hate crime must be stamped out both in football stadiums and in the wider society. The message has to be loud and clear, those that choose to discriminate and to commit disability hate crime are not welcome in football."