Manchester City fan banned for mocking Hillsborough victims at Liverpool match

David Murphy made gestures mocking Hillsborough victims Credit: MEN Media

A Manchester City fan has been handed a football banning order for repeatedly making a 'disgusting' gesture mocking the Hillsborough tragedy during a game against Liverpool last year.CCTV caught 42-year-old David Murphy repeatedly making a CPR gesture - pushing downwards with two clasped hands - towards Liverpool supporters after the final whistle.

City beat Liverpool 3-2 in an EFL Cup tie at the Etihad stadium on December 22 last year.Murhphy a father and from Frodsham in Cheshire, claimed in court he was making 'calm down' gestures.

But the claim was rejected by Manchester and Salford magistrates who handed him a fine and a three-year ban from attending football matches.The court heard that Murhphy was spotted by stadium officials 'mimicking CPR gestures' on CCTV after the game, which was marred by trouble.Prosecutor Suzanne Ludlow said the gestures were directed towards Liverpool supporters in the ground after the final whistle and that the stadium officials concluded the gestures were 'disgusting' and designed to mock the Hillsborough disaster, which resulted in the deaths of 97 supporters following a stadium crush in 1989.The footage, which was played on court, showed Murphy repeatedly making the thrusting heart massage gestures with two clasped hands and other rude gestures.

He was standing beside his ten-year-old son at the time.Addressing the bench, Murphy told the magistrates he admitted making the gestures but he insisted they were not done to mock the Hillsborough disaster. He said such gestures were 'dreadful'. "That's something I wouldn't do," he said.He pointed out to the bench that he himself has a Liverpool accent and that he had friends from Liverpool. He insisted the gestures he was making were urging rival supporters 'to get down, calm down'.The defendant said the game had been an 'awful evening' and an 'awful atmosphere', adding his son was 'spat at' on the way into the ground."Unfortunately that's the way football is going at the moment," he told the court, promising he would never attend another football match again as he no longer felt safe at games."When I watched the video I was embarrassed with myself. That's not the person I am," he said.

He added that he had been going to watch football for 35 years and insisted: "I don't go to football to cause trouble."Murphy told the court he was a 'reasonable person' who doesn't 'go out drinking at weekends' and had a 'professional job'. He said his actions were 'over-exuberance'.Murphy, of The Willows in Frodsham in Cheshire, was fined £265, ordered to pay a £106 victim surcharge and also ordered to pay £85 towards prosecution costs after he admitted a public order offence, namely that he used threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment.But the chairman of the bench, Kevin Phillips, also handed the defendant a three-year football banning order, saying the three justices on the bench had 'unanimously' agreed the gestures were mocking the Hillsborough tragedy.Mr Phillips said: "You have spoken a great deal and your character references support it about how important family is to you. I would ask you to reflect whether your behaviour on that day was any example to set your ten-year-old son."The ban prohibits the defendant from attending specified games at home and abroad for the next three years.