Paul Gascoigne fined over racist joke aimed at security guard at his oneman

first_imgPaul Gascoigne smiles as he poses for a selfie with a fan outside courtCredit:Rui Vieira/PA It is not acceptable to laugh words like this off as some form of jokeDistrict Judge Graham Wilkinson Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Paul Gascoigne surrounded by cameras as he arrived at Dudley magistrates’ court on MondayCredit:Rui Vieira/PA Gascoigne posed for a series of selfies with fans outside court as he arrived for the hearing. His career included spells at Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Rangers. He changed his plea to guilty before the first witness was called to give evidence at Dudley Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning.District Judge Graham Wilkinson was told the offence was committed during an on-stage performance by Gascoigne on November 30 last year at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall.After Gascoigne’s change of plea, Judge Wilkinson said the ex-player had admitted “the sort of insidious racism” that needed to be challenged.He told the retired footballer: “You sought to get a laugh from an audience of over 1,000 people because of the colour of Mr Rowe’s skin.” Paul Gascoigne smiles as he poses for a selfie with a fan outside courtcenter_img Paul Gascoigne The ex-footballer has fought a public battle with alcoholism for years. Paul Gascoigne, the former England footballer, has been fined £1,000 after admitting making a racist “joke” in front of hundreds of people at his An Evening With Gazza show.The 49-year-old humiliated Errol Rowe, his black security guard, by asking him: “Can you smile please, because I can’t see you?”Gascoigne, who lives in Dorset, had been due to stand trial accused of using racially aggravated “threatening, abusive or insulting” words or behaviour. Paul Gascoigne The former football star poses with another group of fans before the court hearingCredit:Rui Vieira/PA The judge told Gascoigne – who admitted a racially aggravated public order charge – that his previous convictions were not relevant to the offence.Mr Wilkinson, who praised the Crown Prosecution Service for taking the case to court, 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.” last_img

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