Gascoigne pleads guilty to racially aggravated offence

Date published: Monday 19th September 2016 2:08 - Oli Fisher

Paul Gascoigne: Accused of 'insidious' racism

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence.

The 49-year-old, whose career included spells at Newcastle, Tottenham and Rangers, admitted using “threatening or abusive words or behaviour” during An Evening With Gazza show in Wolverhampton.

Gascoigne, who lives in Dorset, admitted committing the offence on November 30 last year, ahead of a trial at Dudley Magistrates’ Court which was due to start on Monday.

The judge told Gascoigne – who admitted a racially aggravated public order charge – that his previous convictions were not relevant to the offence, committed at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall last November.

Mr Wilkinson, who praised the Crown Prosecution Service for taking the case to court, said Gascoigne’s comment was an example of “insidious” racism which needed to be challenged.

The judge told Gascoigne: “Mr Rowe was clearly humiliated on stage, as part of an act.

“As a society it is important that we challenge racially aggravated behaviour in all its forms.

“It is the creeping ‘low-level’ racism that society still needs to challenge. A message needs to be sent that in the 21st century society that we live in, such action, such words will not be tolerated.

“It is not acceptable to laugh words like this off as some form of joke.”

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