FAN DISGRACE: Liam Jones, face blurred out, makes the racially charged gesture at Lukaku, right
SUNDERLAND FAN Liam Jones has been banned from attending matches for three years after being found guilty of racially abusing Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku.
The 22-year-old was also slapped with an 18-month conditional discharge for causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.
He received his punishment at Sunderland Magistrate court – originally the supporter pleaded not guilty to the charges, but changed his plea at a second hearing.
When first charged, he claimed he was doing a chicken dance, instead of making gorilla gestures at Lukaku, who was playing on loan at West Brom.
Jones was caught when a photographer notified police after seeing him make the gestures as the forward celebrated scoring a goal for the Baggies.
Northumbria Police followed an investigation with an appeal and Jones was identified.
The force’s chief superintendent Steve Neill said: “Racist behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated and Northumbria Police will fully investigate any reports made to us.
“We know people who are responsible for these actions are part of a small minority and would continue to encourage anyone who sees this kind of behaviour to report it to us and help us rid football of any racism.”