Breaking news: a father and son have been convicted after millwall ‘tragedy

A father and son have been convicted of ‘tragedy chanting’ after the pair were seen making “deeply offensive gestures” at Millwall’s home game against Leicester City last month.

Freddie Brooks, 18, of Rolls Road, Bermondsey, was given a 12-month conditional discharge, a three-year Football Banning Order, a £85 fine and a victim surcharge of £26 at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Peter Brooks, 48, of the same address, was fined £266, at the same court on Wednesday. He was also served a three-year Football Banning Order and required to pay £85 in costs and a £106 victim surcharge.

The father and son had no choice but to plead guilty due to the weight of evidence against them, the Met said.

During the fixture at The Den, Brooks and his son were filmed making helicopter gestures to Leicester City fans and pointing at a passing helicopter before laughing.

The Met said this was clearly a reference to the helicopter crash in 2018, which killed the club’s then owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and four others.

Officers identified the two men and removed them from the ground after the footage was highlighted by Leicester City fans.

Both men were later charged with a public order offence via postal requisition.

The conviction comes following the introduction of new guidance in August 2023, which made chanting about tragedies and death at football games a crime which can be prosecuted as a public order offence and result in fans being banned from games and tournaments.

In August 2023, the Crown Prosecution Service announced a crackdown on badly-behaved fans after chants relating to tragedies such as the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which left 97 Liverpool fans dead, and the 1958 Munich air disaster, which killed 23 people, including eight Manchester United players, became increasingly prevalent at football games.

The move was backed by the chief executives of the Football Association, Premier League and English Football League.

Detective Constable Phil Dickinson, of the Football Investigations Team, said: “These convictions demonstrate the zero tolerance approach we are taking to those who partake in so-called ‘tragedy chanting’.

“While such incidents might previously have been viewed as simply being in poor taste, they are now rightly being recognised for what they are – vile offences which cause upset and outrage.

“We are familiar with fans taunting their opponents at football matches, but this is generally done and taken in good humour and without offence. This incident crossed the line of what is acceptable. It was quite simply a hate crime.”

Pictured top: During the fixture at The Den, Brooks and his son were filmed making helicopter gestures to Leicester City fans (Picture: Ungry Young Man / Flickr)

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