Nazi salute paramedic banned from football matches for three years
A paramedic who made a Nazi salute to a German police officer during a football game has been banned from attending matches for three years, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
Jason Southall, 44, was twice spotted by police making the "deeply offensive" gesture to the officer while her back was turned during a Liverpool and Aston Villa match in September last year.
The German officer was on attachment with Merseyside Police and had 'polizei' written on the back of her uniform.
Southall, a paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service, was today found guilty at North Liverpool Criminal Justice Court of racially aggravated harassment.
The court heard that the Aston Villa fan was off duty at the time and and had drunk four or five pints ahead of the Anfield match.
When officers asked him to leave the ground he denied making the salute and the woman he was with then became aggressive.
She then attacked a police officer and the pair were arrested.
Angela Conlan, senior crown prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Southall made a deeply offensive gesture to a German police officer just because he thought it was amusing.
"The Nazi salute is highly objectionable gesture that is reminiscent of some of the worst behaviour of the previous century.
"It was directed at a woman who wasn't even born at the time of the last war, just because she is German.
"Southall is a paramedic and spends his working life presumably trying to help people. Why he chose this occasion to expose a different side of his character we may never know.
"What we do know is that his behaviour was offensive and completely out of place in a football game that many people had travelled several miles to enjoy.
"The Crown Prosecution Service hopes this case shows that racist behaviour will not be tolerated wherever it shows its ugly face and however the perpetrators might try to laugh it off as harmless."
The German officer found the gesture "highly offensive".
Southall, of Coppice Road in Walsall near Birmingham, has been given a three year football banning order, a £500 fine and ordered to pay £300 costs.
Belfast Telegraph Digital