A POMPEY fan has avoided being banned from matches after shouting a racist chant.
Peter Morby was at the Newport County game at Fratton Park on March 12 when he stood up and chanted three times.
The behaviour you actually demonstrated on that occasion was beyond anything acceptable at all. I think you realised that at the time and nowNigel Dedman
Shocked fans and families confronted him about the words he used but he claimed it was just a ‘joke’.
In court Edward Jackson, for Morby, said the 53-year-old said he was not a racist and ‘had a black friend’.
Giles Fletcher, prosecuting, told how three fans gave statements about his actions.
He said: ‘He was challenged by the spectators about what he said and was later arrested.
‘He admitted chanting and he realised there was an Indian man in front of him. He apologised to him as he accepts they may have been upset by what was said.
‘He said that should have been the end of it, everybody thought it was a joke.
‘He said he isn’t racist, doesn’t hate Welsh people or Pakistani people but the words he used were the wrong words.’
Mr Fletcher said one fan who witnessed the chanting found it ‘offensive’ and said he had been going to Fratton Park for 12 years but had never come across anything like what Morby did.
An Asian man turned around when Morby first chanted and looked him in the eyes but Morby continued to chant, the court heard.
The defendant tried to apologise to the man’s niece.
Mr Fletcher said the witness said: ‘His remarks made me feel uncomfortable.’
Mr Jackson, defending, said: ‘He made it quite clear to police he isn’t a racist, he’s got friends who are black.’
Police and prosecutors had asked for a football banning order, which would have barred Morby from games for a minimum of three years.
But chairman of the magistrates Nigel Dedman considered the order but refused to make it saying the order is used to prevent disorder or further violence.
Sentencing at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, Mr Dedman said: ‘The behaviour you actually demonstrated on that occasion was beyond anything acceptable at all. I think you realised that at the time and now.’
Morby, of Main Road, Colden Common, was given a 12-month conditional discharge with £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
He admitted using racially-aggravated threatening words or behaviour.