Caution follows further homophobic taunts at Brighton football match

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A London football fan who shouted homophobic abuse at a Brighton football match has been formally cautioned after discussing the incident in an online forum, the Sussex Argus reports.

The 18-year-old was warned verbally by Sussex Police after he shouted abuse at Brighton and Hove Albion fans following a match on 6 November.

The man had been supporting visiting side Barnsley at the American Express Community Stadium.

He was arrested in Bromley by Metropolitan Police on 22 November after discussing the homophobic incident on an online forum for football supporters.

He was cautioned yesterday for using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

PC Darren Balkham, a football liaison officer with the Sussex Police, said: “The Amex [stadium] has quickly become established as a stadium that welcomes everyone, regardless of their individual personalities or preferences, and we are determined that anyone guilty of homophobic abuse will be dealt with.

“Last month a Southampton supporter was convicted of shouting anti-gay abuse during a match against Brighton and has been banned from football for three years.

“This latest caution, which came about as result of chat about the incident on a website fans’ forum, demonstrates that we are taking this matter seriously and will take action.”

Brighton’s traditional connection with the gay community makes its football team a regular target for homophobic taunts, the chair of the supporters’ club has said.

Earlier this month, a Southampton supporter who chanted homophobic abuse at a Brighton match received a three-year ban on attending football matches and was ordered to pay costs.