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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

The enormous charity efforts of fans after the "deplorable" taunt

In the days following the stunt at Hillsborough Stadium on September 29, thousands of pounds were donated to the Bradley Lowrey Foundation by fans from Sheffield, Sunderland and across the country, raising over £30,000 in the space of three days.

Sunderland fans hold a minute’s applause for Bradley Lowery at the Stadium of Light. Picture by FRANK REIDSunderland fans hold a minute’s applause for Bradley Lowery at the Stadium of Light. Picture by FRANK REID
Sunderland fans hold a minute’s applause for Bradley Lowery at the Stadium of Light. Picture by FRANK REID

The charity supports and fundraises for children needing medical equipment or treatment not available on the NHS.

Dale Houghton: Watch the moment man who held Bradley Lowery image aloft at Sheffield Wednesday game leaves court

Last time Dale Houghton appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court, reporters gathered to watch him leave the building. Watch the clip of Houghton here:

What defence has been put forward for Dale Houghton so far?

During the last hearing when Houghton admitted to the offence, Constance Coombs, defending, said there had been 'mutual goading' between the Wednesday and Sunderland fans and he "took it too far".

She said the Sunderland fans were waving Sheffield United badges at the home fans and "my client took the deplorable decision to show the picture of Bradley Lowery".

Sheffield Magistrates' Court.Sheffield Magistrates' Court.
Sheffield Magistrates' Court.

Ms Coombs said that what he did was "out of character" and "he's very remorseful for his actions".

Judge Gould said he had seen the photograph, which had been circulated.

He told Houghton: "You are holding up your phone and you were plainly revelling in what you were doing."

Brave Bradley Lowery captured the nation's heart during the course of his gruelling battle with cancer in 2017.

Tragically, the Sunderland supporter and club mascot succumbed to his illness aged just six-years-old, leaving thousands of fans devastated.

Fans across the football community were left stunned when a picture circulated on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing an Owls fan appearing to laugh as held up a picture of little Bradley.

Dale Houghton admited a public order offence after he mocked the death of Bradley Lowery (Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire)Dale Houghton admited a public order offence after he mocked the death of Bradley Lowery (Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire)
Dale Houghton admited a public order offence after he mocked the death of Bradley Lowery (Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire)

Houghton was arrested and charged with a public order offence within days of the Championship match with Sunderland at Hillsborough.

During the October 2, 2023 hearing at Sheffield Magistrates' Court, Houghton's legal counsel, Constance Coombs, said Houghton was "disgusted by what he did".

Dale Houghton to learn his fate today after being told he could be sent to prison

Dale Houghton dove head first into a waiting black Peugeot as he attempted to avoid reporters outside Sheffield Magistrates Court. (Photo courtesy of Harry Harrison)Dale Houghton dove head first into a waiting black Peugeot as he attempted to avoid reporters outside Sheffield Magistrates Court. (Photo courtesy of Harry Harrison)
Dale Houghton dove head first into a waiting black Peugeot as he attempted to avoid reporters outside Sheffield Magistrates Court. (Photo courtesy of Harry Harrison)

Both Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland fans, along with the entire football community, were left disgusted when a picture circulated, appearing to show an Owls fan laughing as he held a picture of little Bradley aloft, during Sheffield Wednesday’s Championship clash with Sunderland on September 29, 2023.

Dale Houghton, of Black Moor Road, Wickersley, Rotherham, Wickersley, Rotherham, was subsequently charged with a public order offence, in connection with the incident.

Houghton appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on October 2, 2023, when he entered a guilty plea to an offence of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress by displaying any writing, sign or other visible representation, which is threatening, abusive or insulting.

The case was adjourned until today (Friday, November 17, 2023) for sentence, and District Judge James Gould told Houghton that his actions were 'utterly deplorable' and all sentencing options remain open, including prison.