Charges dropped over Y-word

Charges have been dropped against three football fans who were facing prosecution for using the Y-word.

Last Updated: 10/03/14 at 10:26

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Gary Whybrow, 31, Sam Parsons, 24, and Peter Ditchman, 52, were initially charged with using the language at Tottenham matches last autumn.

However the Crown Prosecution Service said the words could not legally be counted as "threatening, abusive or insulting" in the circumstances.

Baljit Ubhey from the CPS said: "In accordance with our duty to keep all cases under review we have conducted a senior level review of this case.

"It has now been concluded that, according to the Code for Crown Prosecutors, there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and that the cases against Peter Ditchman, Gary Whybrow and Sam Parsons should be discontinued.

"In considering whether a criminal offence could be proved we have to look objectively at the words used, and the context in which they were used.

"As part of the review, the context of the use of the words alleged in this case was reconsidered, and we have decided that, although the same words used in other contexts could in theory satisfy the criteria for 'threatening, abusive or insulting', it is unlikely that a court would find that they were in the context of the three particular cases in question.

"We have therefore concluded that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction. This decision has no bearing on any other cases that may be brought to our attention and all cases will be considered on their own facts and merits."

A statement from Tottenham read: "The Club welcomes the recognition of the importance of context. We have always maintained that our fans do not use the Y-word with any intent to offend.

"As with all cases where fans are arrested for football-related offences, we were obliged to issue bans and the Club can confirm that these supporters' bans have been rescinded with immediate effect and refunds will be made for matches missed on season tickets, as per Club policy."

The trio were accused of a public order offence for using the word. Police had previously warned football fans not to use the word, which is used to refer to Tottenham fans and is regularly used in football chants.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have promised to take the strongest possible action and press for criminal convictions if anyone engages in anti-Semitic behaviour during Saturday's Premier League clash with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Footer 365

Premier League: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew aware of pressure

Alan Pardew admits both he and his Newcastle squad have to 'stand up and deliver' as pressure mounts at St James' Park.

Europa League can boost Everton season, says captain Phil Jagielka

Phil Jagielka says playing in the Europa League will not harm Everton's hopes of making an impact in the domestic game.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa a fitness concern for boss Jose Mourinho after Schalke draw

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says Diego Costa is not yet ready to start more than one match in a week.

Mail Box

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property