A NEWCASTLE United supporter and former serviceman who made a Nazi gesture towards Spurs fans has been ordered to pay more than £300.

Magpies’ fan Shay Asher may also face a match banning order after he admitted the racially aggravated form of causing harassment, alarm and distress, during a Premier League match at St James’ Park, in October.

Newcastle magistrates were told the club received complaints during the game after a man was seen raising his right arm towards the north London club’s fans in the away section, in the upper tier of the Leazes End.

Rehana Haque, prosecuting, said the former Royal Engineer later told police he had been waving to someone in the crowd.

The Northern Echo:

She told the court that after Asher was challenged by a steward in the stadium, “his face dropped and he quickly ran off towards the exit”.

An image of the incident was shared by police and Asher, of Gibside View, Winlaton, Gateshead, handed himself in to police.

During an interview with officers, Asher initially denied the offence but later wept and said he felt ashamed.

Read more: Police arrest racism suspect from Newcastle v Spurs match

Mrs Haque said a woman in the home crowd saw a man perform a Nazi salute with his finger over his mouth to make a moustache and heard him say he wanted to fight Tottenham fans.

The prosecution read out a victim statement from a Spurs supporter who said the gesture was clearly intended to harass fans of the club, which is known to have a strong following among the Jewish community, adding: “It is an incredibly offensive reminder of what humanity is capable of.”

Alanna Wesencraft, in mitigation, described the gesture as, “an isolated incident”.

She said Asher received a medical discharge from the Royal Engineers as a result of a traumatic experience and had ongoing mental health issues.

Ms Wesencraft said he got swept up in what was happening in the game and knew he had acted inappropriately.

Chairman of the bench David Kelly fined Asher £200, with £85 costs and a £34 surcharge.

Northumbria Police will apply for a football banning order, which the defendant opposes, and the issue will return to court in July.

In the meantime, Asher was bailed on the basis he stays away from sporting venues in England and Wales.

Speaking after the hearing, Andrew Waters, the Football Lead Lawyer of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) North East, said: “The actions of Shay Asher on that day were condemned, rightly, by supporters of both teams.

“Thanks to the efforts made by Northumbria Police and Newcastle United Football Club to ensure the safety of crowds at matches, high quality video footage of Asher’s actions was captured and then used to identify him.

“The Crown Prosecution used this evidence to help build a robust case against Asher, leading him to plead guilty to this offence.”

Nationally, the CPS continues to work closely with the police, clubs, player bodies and organisations, in order to tackle hate crime in football.

“It has worked with the Premier League, the English Football League and the Football Association, explaining what evidence is required to build the strongest case possible against those involved in such offences to help protect players and fans alike.

Douglas Mackay, National Lead Prosecutor for Sport, said: “Over recent years and months, hate crimes relating to sporting events have been on the rise.

“A recent UK Football Policing Unit mid-season report has shown a significant rise in football-related criminality to pre-pandemic levels.

“At the CPS, we play a crucial role in tackling these crimes and making our national sport inclusive and safe to watch.

“There is no place for hate in football and hate crimes such as this have a significant impact on victims.”

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