A football fan who made a Nazi gesture against Tottenham Hotspur fans has been barred from attending matches for three years.
Shay Asher, a Newcastle United supporter, previously guilty to racially aggravated harassment at a Premier League game at St James’ Park in October.
When he accepted the offence in April, the former Royal Engineer was fined £200 at Newcastle Magistrates Court.
He returned to court to contest the prosecution’s request for a Football Banning Order in order to discourage such obnoxious behaviour during matches.
Following an hour-long hearing, magistrates decided to issue the three-year order with restrictions.
Prosecutor Brian Payne said Northumbria Police had appealed for the public’s assistance in locating a man who had been photographed making a Nazi or fascist gesture.
He said Spurs were known for having a “predominantly or very strongly Jewish fan base,” that Stamford Hill in North London was in the club’s catchment area and it was central to the country’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
“This defendant took it upon himself to produce a Nazi salute,” Mr Payne said.
“He knew or must have known that there was a likelihood of there being a strong Jewish presence among the away supporters.
“It was a pretty deliberate and cynical action.”
Mr Payne stated that the goal of the prohibition orders was to avoid future violence and unrest during games.
Asher did not have a season ticket, according to John Wesencraft, and the last time he saw Newcastle United was when they were in the Championship.
He said Asher had waited in line to acquire a ticket for the Spurs game since it was the first after the new Newcastle owners took control.
Mr Wesencraft stated that Asher’s antics did not result in violence, adding, “Newcastle United supporters were in exceptionally good spirits that day, even though they lost.”
He argued that his client was unlikely to repeat the gesture since it was a “moment of craziness,” he did not have a season ticket, he had no previous convictions, and he was not a football hooligan.
Asher, of Gibside View, Winlaton, Gateshead, was discharged from the Royal Engineers due to a distressing incident.
According to Chairman of the Bench Jane Barnes, the panel agreed to impose the ban, which includes an order for Asher to give his passport if he applies for one, not to access football stadiums, and to avoid England matches.
She stated that it was implemented to assist prevent future game chaos.