Josef Smith

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PA Media

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Josef Smith, of Kingswinford, was found guilty of abusive behaviour

A Wolves fan has been handed a four-year-banning order for aiming monkey gestures at Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham.

Josef Smith, of Kingswinford, was found guilty of abusive behaviour to cause distress and a racially-aggravated count of the same offence.

The 40-year-old warehouse worker committed the offences during Chelsea’s 5-2 win at Molineux on 14 September.

He was sentenced at Dudley Magistrates’ Court.

Smith was sitting with his 70-year-old mother at the time of the offences and was subsequently ejected from the ground by stewards.

His mother, also a season ticket-holder, was “blameless” during the incident but no longer attended matches, magistrates heard.

In a statement, Wolverhampton Wanderers said Smith will be “banned indefinitely from Molineux stadium and all Wolves fixtures”.

The court was told how he “curled his fists under his armpits in a chimp-like gesture” when Abraham scored a hat-trick.

Denying the charges, Smith told magistrates he had made a “get back” gesture – which may have been misinterpreted.

He told police he was frustrated with the scoreline and had stood up and sworn during the game, but only “raised his arms in an upwards direction” to motivate the Wolves players.

However, witnesses described how Smith’s gesture appeared to be aimed at black players on the pitch.

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Reuters

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Smith aimed monkey gestures at Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham

The hearing was also told Mr Smith spat at rival fans.

Smith suggested mucus from a “bad sneeze” may have been mistaken for spittle aimed at Chelsea fans, but witnesses said they saw him launch an “astonishing quantity” of spittle from the stand’s top tier into visiting supporters below.

The incident was caught on CCTV, the court heard.

At the sentencing hearing, Smith was fined £800 and ordered to pay £600 in costs and a £50 victim surcharge, making a total bill of £1,450.

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