Police have warned that racist behaviour at football matches could lead to a prison sentence following the conviction of a man for making offensive gestures.
David Ellis aged 39, from Pottery Lane, York was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison at Leeds Magistrates Court on April 6.
The York man pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated section 5 public order act offence in relation to gestures he made at Leeds United v Aston Villa at Elland Road on October 2, 2022.
The gestures had been filmed and shared on social media where they were seen by West Yorkshire Police officers.
An investigation was launched which led to Ellis, a Leeds United supporter being identified.
Detective Sergeant Rob Kennerley of Leeds District Police, who investigated the matter alongside dedicated specialist officers, said: “We welcome the sentencing of Ellis for his abhorrent behaviour and hope it sends a strong message that racism will not be tolerated at football matches or in any other walks of life.
“We will always take reports of hate crime seriously and do everything we can to support victims and take positive action against offenders.
“As we have seen with this incident, other fans will rightly take exception to this type of behaviour and are prepared to challenge it as completely unacceptable.
“We continue to work closely in partnership with Leeds United and encourage anyone who encounters racist abuse or other hate crime to report it to us so we can take action and make sure those responsible face the consequences.”