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Friday 28 April 2017

Chelsea fans avoid jail for 'racist violence'

Jonathan Gray Paris

Four Chelsea fans including one Irishman were given suspended jail sentences and fined by a Paris court yesterday for committing racist violence.

They stopped a black Frenchman boarding a metro train in the French capital in February 2015.

Video footage had shown the four, who were there to watch the London club play Paris St Germain in a Champions League match, chanting: "We're racist and that's the way we like it" as they blocked Souleymane Sylla from getting on the train.

Richard Barklie, a former policeman from Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, and William Simpson, who were not in court, were given 12-month suspended sentences on charges of committing racist violence and making chants of a racist nature.

Two other Chelsea fans - Josh Parsons and James Fairbairn, both of whom appeared in court yesterday - were handed suspended sentences of eight months and six months respectively on similar charges.

The four were also ordered to pay €10,000 to Mr Sylla.

Irish Independent

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