Sheffield Wednesday fan pleads guilty to racist abuse - handed lengthy football ban

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A 21-year-old man has been banned from attending football games for five years after racially abusing a Coventry City player at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium.

Edward Rabjohn was convicted of racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment/alarm/distress – words/writing after making a monkey gesture towards Coventry Kasey Palmer earlier this year, and as a result ‘will not be able to enter within a mile of Hillsborough Stadium or Sheffield Town Hall on matchdays or be able to travel to away games from four hours before and six hours after a game’.

Today, at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, Rabjohn pleaded guilty to racially abusing Palmer, and was sentenced to a two-year community order as well as 200 hours of unpaid work. His sentence was increased to take account of the racially aggravating features of the incident.

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It has also been confirmed that he will need to surrender his passport during international games – including tournaments such as the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament in Germany.

A statement released today read, “A fan who racially abused Kasey Palmer during a Championship match has received a five-year football ban... Edward Rabjohn, 21, of Sheffield, made racist gestures towards Coventry forward Mr Palmer who was collecting the ball for a throw in during a second half with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on January 20, 2024

“Rabjohn, who had drunk around six pints of beer before the game, was caught on broadcast cameras. After the match, he saw himself in the footage. In the police interview, he admitted to making the gesture then running away from the stadium. He also told his friends that he had messed up.

“Mr Palmer informed the match referee Anthony Blackhouse of the gesture, who reported it to Coventry manager, Mark Robins. Palmer told the police that he saw Rabjohn ‘extremely animated’ and was looking directly at him while gesturing towards the footballer. Mr Palmer said he was ‘shocked, disgusted and sickened’.

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Meanwhile, Douglas Mackay, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor and CPS Lead Sports Prosecutor, said, "We want supporters to show their passion without crossing the line into criminality and we're working with football authorities including the Premier League and the Football Association, as well as with clubs and the police, to stamp out this cruel behaviour.

“As a result of his actions, Rabjohn has not only received a five-year ban from watching football, he will not be able to travel abroad during this summer’s Euro 2024.”

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