Sussex Police said a man who was arrested after being heard shouting homophobic abuse at the Amex Stadium at Falmer has been fined nearly £1,000 and banned from attending football matches for three years.
George Bradley, 20, a door-to-door salesman of Dabin Crescent, Greenwich, London, was ejected from the away section of fans during the Brighton v Chelsea match on Sunday, December 16, police said.
Sussex Police said Bradley appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (January 3), where he pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
A police spokesperson said: “The court found that the offence was motivated (wholly or partly) by hostility towards persons who are of a particular sexual orientation, resulting in an increased fine of £800 plus £80 victim surcharge and costs of £85.
“Bradley was also subjected to a football banning order for three years.”
PC Darren Balkham, Sussex Police dedicated football policing officer, said: “This was a great example of the stewarding and policing operation at the stadium taking action when incidents occur.
“Mr Bradley pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and accepted his behaviour was not acceptable and this was recognised by the court.
“I would urge any supporter attending the Amex to report these incidents to either a steward or police officer to allow us to take action at the time.”
A spokesperson for Brighton and Hove Albion added: “We would like to thank Sussex Police for their assistance in dealing with this unsavoury incident, and we are very pleased with the outcome.
“It underlines both their and our commitment to a zero tolerance policy on any form of abuse from those attending matches at the Amex. We would remind all fans that we will not tolerate any form of abusive behaviour at the stadium and will always take the strongest possible action.”
After the match, the police stressed that ‘the vast majority of Chelsea fans supported their team with passion and pride and were a credit to their club’.