Newcastle fan who made Nazi gesture towards Tottenham supporters ordered to pay over £300

24-year-old Shay Asher was pictured making gestures towards the away end last October Credit: NCJMEDIA

A former Royal Marine and Newcastle fan has been fined after he made a Nazi salute towards Tottenham Hotspur supporters during a match at St James' Park.

Shay Asher was identified after photos of him performing the gesture during the game last October were circulated online.

A court heard that the Metropolitan Police's digital media team, who were investigating hate crimes on social media, reported the pictures to Northumbria Police.

Numerous complaints from members of the crowd were also made to Newcastle United and a subsequent appeal by police on their Facebook page led to Asher, who made the salute with his right hand while "putting his finger over his mouth for a moustache", coming forward.

Tottenham Hotspur has a large Jewish fan base and has long been associated with the Jewish community, with one supporter who witnessed Asher's shocking behaviour labelling it "incredibly offensive" and with "no place in the modern era".

The court was told one fan reported Asher to a steward but he denied making the gesture and claimed he was "waving at a friend".

The 24-year-old, of Gibside View, in Winlaton, Gateshead, appeared at Newcastle Magistrates' Court on Wednesday 27 April, where he was fined £200 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £34 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to a racially-aggravated public order offence.

Prosecutor Rehana Haque said Newcastle United were playing the match against Tottenham on October 17 last year when Asher was captured on camera making the salute.

Ms Haque continued: "A male is stood in the crowd during the match with his arms raised out in front on him in a Nazi salute facing the Tottenham crowd. Newcastle United also received a large number of complaints with regards to the incident."

The incident occured during a game at St James’ Park last October Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

The court heard that a couple of supporters informed a steward of what was going on and Asher was spoken to but denied any wrong doing, however, his "face dropped" when he was further challenged and he ran towards the exit.

Ms Haque added: "Another witness says a male sat in the row in front of her was acting in a racist manner and she observed him do the Nazi salute with a finger over his mouth as a moustache. He was heard to say he was going to fight some Tottenham fans."

Asher was interviewed by police after he handed himself in but continued to deny the offence until he eventually started to cry and stated he "felt ashamed", the court heard.

Alanna Wesencraft, defending, said Asher had been medically discharged from the Royal Engineers after he suffered a traumatic experience relating to a friend and went on to suffer from mental health problems.

The solicitor added: "He would describe this as sheer madness. He asked me to convey his apologies. He knows it's appalling. He got swept up in the game around him."

Northumbria Police will now apply for a Football Banning Order to be made against Asher, which he will contest, and he will next appear back at the same court on July 19 to find out the outcome of that application.

In the meantime, he was released on conditional bail, which banned him from entering sporting venues in the UK.