Newcastle fan fined for Nazi salute towards Spurs supporters

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Aerial view of St James' ParkImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Shay Asher made a Nazi gesture towards Spurs fans at St James' Park during a Premier League match in October

A football fan who made a Nazi salute towards rival supporters has been ordered to pay more than £300.

Newcastle United fan Shay Asher, 24, admitted racially aggravated harassment towards Tottenham Hotspur supporters at St James' Park in October.

The club received complaints about the former Royal Engineer raising his right arm towards travelling fans, Newcastle Magistrates' Court heard.

Northumbria Police is seeking an order banning him from games.

'Incredibly offensive'

Rehana Haque, prosecuting, said the former soldier had later told police he had been waving to someone in the crowd at the Premier League game.

However, when Asher was challenged by a steward in the stadium "his face dropped and he quickly ran off towards the exit", Ms Haque told the court.

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.

Ms Haque said a woman in the home crowd saw a man perform a Nazi salute with his finger over his his top lip 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 known for its strong Jewish support.

"It is an incredibly offensive reminder of what humanity is capable of," the court heard.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Newcastle lost 3-2 to Tottenham in the Premier League encounter in October

Alanna Wesencraft, mitigating, said it was an isolated incident and Asher had ongoing mental health issues following a traumatic experience which had seen him medically discharged from the Army.

She said her client got carried away with what was happening in the game (Newcastle lost the match) and knew he had acted inappropriately.

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

Asher is opposing the football banning order and the case will be back in court in July.

He was bailed to stay away from all sporting venues in England and Wales in the meantime.

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