Liverpool fan guilty of racial abuse

Phillip Gannon, 58, of Heol Meirion, Barmouth, North Wales, arrives at Liverpool Magistrates Court clutching a Liverpool FC carrier bag, where he is due to stand trial today accused of making a racist gesture during Liverpool's FA Cup fourth round victory over Manchester United
Phillip Gannon, 58, of Heol Meirion, Barmouth, North Wales, arrives at Liverpool Magistrates Court clutching a Liverpool FC carrier bag, where he is due to stand trial today accused of making a racist gesture during Liverpool's FA Cup fourth round victory over Manchester United
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A LIVERPOOL FC fan has been found guilty of racially abusing rival Manchester United supporters and their club captain Patrice Evra.

Phillip Gannon, 58, was seen on live television doing a racially offensive monkey impression, Liverpool Magistrates’ Court was told.

The incident happened amid a volatile atmosphere at Anfield on January 28 this year when the two sides met in an FA Cup fourth round clash, Rob Girvan, prosecuting, said.

It was the first game between the Premier League rivals since an eight-match ban was imposed on Liverpool striker Luis Suarez after the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Mr Evra.

In the 23rd minute of the game the TV camera panned over fans in the lower Centenary Stand, where Gannon was sitting with two friends, and he was seen to position his hands under his armpits.

The coverage, broadcast worldwide by ITV, quickly spread across social networking site Twitter and complaints were made to police, the court heard.

Witnesses told the court how Gannon hurling a string of foul-mouthed taunts at Evra and Manchester United fans.

The court also heard he made a number of disgusting remarked to disabled supported watching the game nearby.

Gannon, 58, of Heol Meirion, Barmouth, north Wales, was found guilty of two counts of using abusive or insulting words within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused alarm or distress.