- Title: Four Chelsea fans given suspended sentences for racist violence in Paris
- Date: 3rd January 2017
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - FEBRUARY 19, 2015) (REUTERS) METRO TRAIN ARRIVING IN STATION PEOPLE ENTERING AND EXITING TRAIN PASSENGERS ON TRAIN TRAIN DOORS CLOSING, TRAIN LEAVING STATION
- Embargoed: 18th January 2017 18:23
- Keywords: Chelsea racism Paris violence football fans Paris St Germain Souleymane Sylla Josh Parsons James Fairbairn Richard Barklie William Simpson
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA0025XJ26H3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Four Chelsea football fans were given suspended jail sentences and fined by a Paris court on Tuesday (January 3) for committing racist violence when they stopped a black Frenchman boarding a metro underground 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.
After the verdict, Sylla told reporters that "justice has been served".
"It's good that we are finally recognising in this country today that racist chants can be punished, quite simply," said Sylla's lawyer, Jim Michel-Gabriel.
Richard Barklie 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.
Josh Parsons and James Fairbairn, both of whom appeared in court on Tuesday, were handed suspended sentences of eight months and six months respectively on similar charges.
A lawyer for Fairbain said the court's ruling was a warning for Chelsea supporters.
"My client was found guilty because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.
The four Chelsea supporters were also ordered to pay 10,000 euros (8,500 pounds) to Sylla.
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