1. ITV Report

Fan fined for throwing banana at Bale

Gareth Bale was said to be the target of the banana Photo: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

An Arsenal football fan today admitted throwing a banana at Wales International Gareth Bale during a derby last month.

Thomas Flint, 23, from Enfield, launched the fruit at the Tottenham Hotspurs' forward during the clubs' derby clash at White Hart Lane in March.

Tottenham won the game 2-1.

Gareth Bale scored the game's only goal Credit: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

Flint hurled the banana at Bale, who scored the game's opening goal, as he prepared to take a corner.

Today, at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court, carpenter Flint admitted throwing a missile on to the playing area, and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The court heard that he was a regular at games and on the day was seen shouting: "F* off, come on then you c**," at Spurs fans.

Flint, who, the court heard, has no interests other than football, was sentenced to a three-year football banning order, fined £250 and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a £25 victim surcharge.

District Judge Rebecca Crane told Flint that he had 'let himself down and that his 'disgraceful' actions could have sparked violence at the match.

You have good references but you allowed your passion for football and the game to boil over into hostility for a single player and the opposing team.

This was more than foolish - it was disgraceful behaviour.

What you threw from such a distance could have hurt someone and it was offensive as well... it could have boiled over into violence.

– District Judge Rebecca Crane

Hina Rai, prosecuting, said Flint was captured on a police camcorder throwing the banana and behaving in a disorderly manner.

Flint's solicitor, Christopher Wright, told the court that he was "a young man who has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity."