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Live updates as Sheffield Wednesday fan Dale Houghton is sentenced for Bradley Lowery photo taunt

We will be bringing you live updates throughout today, ahead of Dale Houghton being sentenced at Sheffield Magistrates' Court.
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Live updates as Sheffield Wednesday fan Dale Houghton is sentenced for Bradley Lowery photo taunt

Key Events

  • Sheffield Wednesday fan Dale Houghton is set to come before Sheffield Magistrates' Court to be sentenced after he taunted rival Sunderland fans with a picture of young cancer victim Bradley Lowery
  • Houghton was warned he could be sent to prison, at the conclusion of the last hearing when he admitted to a public order offence
  • We will be bringing you all the latest news on this sentencing hearing, live from court

FULL REPORT: Dale Houghton says regret over photogate will be "lifelong"

Dale Houghton was sentenced today at Sheffield Magistrates Court.

The Star's Sarah Marshall was in the courtroom to see him be handed a suspended sentence, a football banning order and 200 hours of unpaid work for mocking Bradley Lowery during a football match earlier this year.

Bradley Lowery Foundation fundraiser approaching £30k

In more positive news, the GoFundMe created by Sheffield Wednesday fans for the Bradley Lowery Foundation has nearly totalled £30,000 on the day of Dale Houghton's sentencing.

The GoFundMe created by Sheffield Wednesday fans has nearly hit £30,000.The GoFundMe created by Sheffield Wednesday fans has nearly hit £30,000.
The GoFundMe created by Sheffield Wednesday fans has nearly hit £30,000.

The fundraiser was created in support of the Lowery's after photos of the incident at Hillsborough Stadium first began circulating online.

Watch as Dale Houghton leaves Sheffield Magistrates Court

Houghton was handed a suspended sentence by the judge.

Click the link below to watch Houghton leave court in Sheffield

Houghton 'will 'have to start life over' after case concludes

Reporter for The Star Sarah Marshall adds this context to the judge's sentencing:

"I will put together a full court report soon, but to give further context to the judge’s rationale, he said he felt Houghton has shown genuine remorse & he is lightly convicted with only driving matters on his record. The court was told that Houghton has lost two jobs as a result of his actions. Ms Coombs said his relationship has suffered, and he’s had to stay away from his family home for ‘fear of reprisals’. She said he will effectively have to start his life again after this case."

BREAKING: Dale Houghton handed suspended sentence

BREAKING: Dale Houghton has just been sentenced to 12 weeks’ custody, suspended for 18 months. He’s also received a 5-year football banning order, and must complete 200 hours of unpaid work

Judge Waite: "You actions that day were 'utterly appalling'

Reporter for The Star Sarah Marshall tweets:

Judge Waite told Houghton his actions that day were ‘utterly appalling’.

“Your behaviour was disgraceful. You risked provoking a much more serious response.”

Judge Waite said Houghton had caused trauma to an ‘already traumatised and grieving family’.

He said Houghton showed ‘callous disrespect’ to a brave young man who was rightly held in the ‘highest esteem by football fans’.

Statement from Bradley Lowery's mum Gemma read to court

A statement from Bradley’s mum, Gemma Lowery, has been read to the court. In it, she said it was difficult to put it into words, but felt ‘many emotions’.

Gemma Lowery said Houghton’s actions weren’t ‘just disrespectful to Bradley, it has caused emotional turmoil to other ill children’.

Mr Hughes said Ms Lowery concluded her statement by saying she had been ‘left very upset by the incident’.

Gemma Lowery, um of Bradley Lowery.Gemma Lowery, um of Bradley Lowery.
Gemma Lowery, um of Bradley Lowery.

"He googled a picture of Bradley Lowery."

Sarah Marshall tweets:

Mr Hughes said that Houghton subsequently Googled a picture of Bradley Lowery.

“He accepts he went too far and showed the picture of Bradley on his phone," he said. Defending, Connie Coombs, said it’s regretful that Houghton cannot say why he did it, but added that he wishes to ’express his deep remorse, certainly to Bradley Lowery’s family as well as to the general public’.

A statement from Bradley’s mum, Gemma Lowery, has been read to the court. In it, she said it was difficult to put it into words, but felt ‘many emotions’.

Court hears incident escalated through 'football banter' with Sunderland fans using pictures on phones

Reporter for The Star Sarah Marshall tweets:

Prosecutor Mark Hughes has told the court that in police interview, Houghton described himself as having ‘standard football banter’ with Sunderland fans, around 200 of whom were sat nearby. He said it began with showing them pictures of the Newcastle United badge, to which they responded by showing pictures of a Sheffield United badge. All of this was being done on phone screens used by those involved.

Court has assembled and is waiting for the judge to arrive

Sarah Marshall live from the court tweets: