A SOLIHULL man has been convicted of homophobic abuse at a football match.
Peter Wild was overheard by a West Midlands Police officer shouting abuse towards a Solihull Moors football player at the Vanarama National League fixture in December between Solihull Moors and Stockport County FC during the first half of the game.
When the 54-year-old was questioned by police he claimed that it never crossed his mind to be homophobic, say the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Wild was found guilty of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress at Birmingham Magistrates Court and was fined £398 and ordered to pay costs of £500.
Douglas Mackay, CPS sport lead prosecutor, said: “Chanting at football matches can add to a great atmosphere but if it is homophobic in nature the CPS will take that conduct extremely seriously.
“There is no place for hate in our football grounds.
“Sport is inclusive and we will work closely with the football authorities, clubs and charities to drive hate away from the game.
“The impact on people who are challenged for their personal characteristics can be profound. Some people do not care about that and persist with hateful mob behaviour.
“We will not hesitate to prosecute anyone accused of these actions where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so.”