Monday, 4 Dec 2023

‘Deplorable’ football yob avoids jail after mocking death of young mascot

A football fan whose actions were slammed as ‘utterly deplorable’ has avoided jail after he mocked the death of the team’s young mascot at a football match.

Dale Houghton, 31, has been sentenced to 12 weeks’ custody, suspended for 18 months after he admitted a public order offence at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court last month following an incident at a match between Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland on Friday, September 29.

He has also been ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and must complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

In the incident, Houghton – along with another man – laughed as they helf up a picture of team mascot Bradley Lowery at Hillsborough stadium.

District Judge Marcus Waite said: “You showed callous disrespect to a brave young man who was rightly held in the highest esteem by football fans everywhere.”

READ MORE: ‘Loser’ football yob sacked before taunting fans with picture of cancer victim

The young boy died at the age of just six-years-old in 2017 after battling neuroblastoma.

He was a mascot for his beloved club and, in the months before his death, led England out at Wembley alongside former Black Cats striker Jermain Defoe.

Pictures circulated on X, formerly Twitter, showing Houghton, from Rotherham, holding up a picture of Bradley to the camera while at the match.

At an earlier hearing on October 2, District Judge James Gould told him “your actions are utterly deplorable”.

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