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Romford teen among two banned from football for racist chanting

Thursday, November 8, 2012
5.00 PM

Two teenagers involved in racist chanting at a group of boys at an anti-racism football match have been banned from attending games for three years.

Keith Meredith, of Holgate Road, Dagenham, and Lee Bates, of Seymer Road, Romford, both 18, appeared at Romford Magistrates Court on October 16.

They were among 25-30 youths seen and heard shouting abuse at the Tower Hamlets schoolboys during a Daggers Against Racism game with Bradford FC, held in Victoria Road, Dagenham.

Meredith was found guilty of a racially aggravated section 5 public order act offence and sentenced to a three-year football banning order, £100 fine and ordered to pay £315 in court costs.

Bates, who admitted a section 5 public order act offence, was sentenced to a three year football banning order, £135 fine and ordered to pay £115 in court costs.

On July 29 two boys, aged 16 and 17, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated public order offences. These teenagers cannot be named, but one was from Hornchurch.

They both received a four-month referral order to a local youth offending scheme and were ordered to pay £75 each in costs. A further 11 people received varying bans direct from the football club following the chants.

Steve Thompson, managing director of Dagenham & Redbridge, said: “We welcome the sentences given to Lee Bates and Keith Meredith.

“We aim to provide a club facility that caters for families and gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy the match without the disruption of intolerance or bigotry.

“The club will continue to do everything in its power to take appropriate action against anyone who chooses to be involved in such abuse.”