West Ham fans convicted over homophobic abuse directed at Brighton supporters

Four football fans have been convicted of public order offences after shouting homophobic abuse at a West Ham v Brighton match.

Police began an investigation after several men were reported to have shouted homophobic comments at Brighton & Hove Albion supporters when they played West Ham at the London Stadium on 1 February.

Two men – Thomas Hill, 25, of Slough, and Samuel Marshall, 21, of Hornchurch, were arrested on the day of the game, the Metropolitan Police said.

After further investigation, two other men were summoned to court – Damian Critten, 24, of Rainham, and Jack Wood, 25, of London.

All four appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London and each pleaded guilty to an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act.

Hill and Marshall were fined £200, plus court costs, and Critten and Wood were fined £120 and banned from attending football matches for three years.

A West Ham spokesman said: “West Ham United is unequivocal in its stance – we have a zero-tolerance approach to any form of discrimination.

“Equality and diversity is at the heart of the football club and we are committed to continue ensuring that everyone who enters London Stadium is free to enjoy watching their team play football in an inclusive environment.”

Met Police Chief Inspector Chris Green added: “This investigation and these convictions show that we will not tolerate homophobic behaviour or hate crime at football matches and more broadly in our city.

“If you have information about people committing these type of despicable offences, please share that information with police. These offenders may happen to support the same football team as you, but they do not deserve your support.”

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