Raheem Sterling was said to have been left “completely shocked” by the racist attack before Manchester City’s 4-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur that resulted on Wednesday in a 29-year-old man being jailed for 16 weeks.
Karl Anderson smiled as he received the sentence having pleaded guilty at Manchester and Salford magistrates court to racially aggravated common assault on the City and England player.
The court was told how Anderson, a Manchester United supporter who has a history of football-related violence, kicked and shouted racial abuse at Sterling outside City’s training ground in Clayton Lane, Manchester, before their win against Spurs at the Etihad Stadium.
Carl Miles, prosecuting, said Sterling, who scored twice in the match, described himself as “completely shocked” by the incident. In a statement, the 23-year-old said: “I didn’t think this type of behaviour still happened in this country in this day and age.”
Magistrates were told Anderson pulled his white van alongside Sterling’s car as the forward waited to enter the training ground. CCTV showed both men get out of their vehicles and Anderson walking towards Sterling.
Miles said Anderson, who had been in the vehicle with his partner, started shouting racial abuse at Sterling and called him “you black scouse cunt”. He said Anderson also told the footballer: “I hope your mother and child wake up dead in the morning, you nigger.”
Miles added: “He approaches Mr Sterling and can be seen to be bouncing on the balls of his feet. He sets out kicking Mr Sterling to the legs on four occasions.” The court was told Sterling’s left hamstring was sore after the attack but he did not sustain serious injury. Miles said: “He is a professional footballer. His legs are important for his job.”
Sentencing, the chairman of the bench Diana Webb-Hobson told Anderson: “This was an entirely unprovoked attack. You stopped your car and you got out. The personal statement was very moving, we find injury was sustained. Your previous record was appalling, you don’t seem to learn anything, do you?”
The court was told Anderson had 25 previous convictions for 37 offences, including throwing a flare at a police officer during a football match. In January, he was one of 12 Manchester United fans handed a football banning order after violent disorder before an FA Cup fixture with Sheffield United. Miles said: “He is now finding alternative ways to express violence and aggression, all relating to football.”
John Black, defending, said Anderson, of Ancoats in Manchester, had lost his temper with Sterling after his girlfriend asked him to request an autograph. The lawyer said: “He apologises through me to Mr Sterling for his actions.”
Magistrates ordered Anderson to pay £100 compensation and a £115 victim surcharge. The defendant, who wore a black T-shirt, was supported in th He said the defendant could not explain his behaviour and “bitterly” regretted it..
Source: The Guardian