independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Sentencing adjourned for Dubliners on Andy Cole racist abuse charge

Former Man Utd star abused on plane

Gregory Horan and Lee Patrick Byrne leaving Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester. Photo: Steve Allen
Gregory Horan and Lee Patrick Byrne leaving Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester. Photo: Steve Allen

Sentencing has been adjourned for two men in connection with the racial abuse of former Manchester United footballer Andy Cole on a plane.

A judge at Manchester Minshull Street Crown heard that the matter could not proceed today because gardai were not prepared to verbally disclose the previous convictions of the defendants.

Lisa Boocock, prosecuting, said the Crown was informed that it could not receive written confirmation of their criminal records in Ireland until January 29 at the earliest.

Judge Leslie Hull adjourned the proceedings until March 3.

Cole, 42, was returning to the UK on a flight from Dublin to Manchester on December 29 when the incident happened.

Police were called to Manchester Airport following reports that two passengers were drunk and would not co-operate with Aer Lingus cabin crew.

Lee Patrick Byrne, 28, and Gregory Horan, 26, both from Dublin, were arrested on landing.

Byrne pleaded guilty at Trafford Magistrates' Court to a racially aggravated public order offence and being drunk on an aircraft.

Horan also admitted being drunk on an aircraft.

Ex-striker Cole, from Cheshire, is now a club ambassador at Manchester United and is also involved with other black footballers in the Kick It Out campaign, which aims to stamp out abuse from the stands and in the dressing room.

Bail was extended for Byrne, of Corduff Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin, and Horan, of Sycamore View, Castleknock, Dublin.

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