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Sunday 21 September 2014

Men wear blond disguises in Andy Cole case sentencing

Ian Leonard

Published 04/03/2014 | 02:30

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Gregory Horan, left, and Lee Byrne, right.
Former Manchester United forward Andy Cole
Former Manchester United forward Andy Cole

TWO men wore blond wigs and moustaches in an attempt to disguise themselves when they appeared in court to be sentenced over the racial abuse of former Manchester United star Andrew Cole.

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Cole (42) was travelling on an Aer Lingus service from Dublin to Manchester when he was subjected to the abuse.

"Drunk" passengers Gregory Horan (26) and Lee Byrne (28) were arrested by police when the aircraft landed.

The pair were due to be sentenced yesterday at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court.

But the case was adjourned until April 7 so a pre-sentence report could be prepared for Byrne.

Corrine Ransom, defending Byrne, said he was in a "precarious position" because of his previous convictions and was facing the possibility of a custodial sentence. She added that her client wanted to come to the UK in order to find work.

Byrne, of Corduff Court, Blanchardstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence and being drunk on an aircraft at Trafford Magistrates' Court in December.

Horan, of Sycamore View, Castleknock, Dublin, admitted being drunk on an aircraft.

A witness statement read out on behalf of Cole during the hearing spoke of his "disgust" at the abuse he suffered.

It read: "I was targeted because of the colour of my skin and I felt terrible afterwards. I was harassed by both of these males throughout the flight. I was disgusted by their language."

Irish Independent

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