England fan who sent racist rant to Gareth Southgate avoids jail term

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Brian Martin abused the England boss after the team lost to Hungary. His expletive-filled rant attacked the selection of black players to take penalties in last year’s Euros final plus the whole team for taking the knee.

York magistrates heard that Martin began: “Dear Gareth Wokegate.”

He went on to accuse the coach of “picking penalty takers who were black instead of being competent.

“You still appear blissfully unaware that 99% of English citizens hate Team Snowflake taking the knee. I hope the virtue signalling, racist s*** pretending to be Team England get hammered every match.”

He ended with direct abuse against the England manager.

Melanie Ibbotson, prosecuting, said Martin, 56, of Selby, North Yorks, was earlier convicted of sending an offensive or indecent message on a public communication network.

She added it was not thought that Mr Southgate received the abuse. It was seen by an assistant and sent to FA security, who contacted police.

Representing himself, unemployed maintenance contractor Martin said he would appeal against conviction, adding: “It is an honest opinion.”

District Judge Adrian Lower said the email was titled Yet More Anti-White Racism From Team England: “What did follow was a disgraceful, unacceptable, racist rant.”

He told Martin: “Racism has no place in our diverse society. The language you used is deeply hurtful to many people. It is my public duty to send a strong message that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

The judge said it was not appropriate to award compensation: “There’s no price I can put on racism. You have little or no insight into how offensive you have been. ”

But Judge Lower said the offence fell “just short” of a jail sentence.

He imposed a two-year community order including a £120 fine and 200 hours of unpaid work. Martin must pay £620 costs plus a £95 surcharge.

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