Racist abuser of Brentford’s Toney gets severe punishment

Racist abuser of Brentford’s Toney gets severe punishment

A man has been banned from every football ground in the UK for the next three years for racially abusing Brentford and English forward Ivan Toney on social media.

Anthony Neil of Blyth in Southeastern Northumberland was sentenced to four months in jail and suspended for two years having admitted to sending an offensive message at the Newcastle magistrate court in January.

This ban also prevents the 24-year-old from travelling outside of the UK to watch international friendlies, qualification matches and tournaments.

“Discrimination has absolutely no place in any society, whether out in our communities or online,” said Supt Scott Cowie, hate crime lead for Northumbria Police.

“I hope this reinforces our commitment to taking action against anybody who commits a hate crime – it will not be tolerated and we will do all we can to put perpetrators before the courts.”

Brentford, who stood firmly in support of Toney all through the court process identified the ban issued to Neill as a “landmark ruling”.

“Ivan Toney has been subject to sickening racist abuse on a regular basis, and we want to see tough action taken against anyone found guilty of such abuse,” a statement on their website said.

“The club firmly believes there is no place for racial abuse in football and we continue to support and implement a zero-tolerance policy towards discriminatory behaviour of any kind.”

In a Twitter post back in October, Toney shared a screenshot of a direct message he received on Instagram, with police labelling the incident as a hate crime.

Neill apologised to Toney in court for sending the message but it did not change the judge’s stance on the case as ‘exceptionally offensive’ and with ‘racial overtones’.

New legislation was introduced last year to widen the scope of banning orders for online hate crimes.

After losing to Everton in their last Premier League game, Brentford will be looking to bounce back against Southampton on Wednesday as they pursue a place in a European club competition next season.





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