Karl Anderson, 26, admitted aggravated common assault at Salford Magistrates’ Court last week after he was accused of carrying out a hate crime against Raheem Sterling.
The judge heard how the Man City player was attacked as he arrived at City’s Etihad complex ready to take part in a match against Spurs.
Details of Anderson directing a tirade of racist abuse towards the 23-year-old England international, as well as kicking him several times, were read out in court.
Anderson isn’t someone who is a stranger to the criminal justice system; he’s had 25 previous convictions for 37 offences – including flinging a flare at a police officer.
CCTV footage clearly showed Anderson driving his van next to Sterling’s car as he waited to enter the training ground. Both men got out of their vehicles and Anderson walked over to Sterling.
According to Carl Miles of the prosecution, Anderson – who was with his partner at the time of the incident – began hurling racial abuse at Sterling. Miles said: “He sets out kicking Mr Sterling to the legs on four occasions.”
Luckily, despite the fact that Sterling’s hamstring “was sore” following the assault, he suffered no serious injuries. In a victim statement, which he read to the court, the football ace said he was “completely shocked” by the attack.
“I didn’t think this type of behaviour still happened in this country in this day and age,” he explained. Diana Webb-Hobson, the chairman of the bench who was sentencing Anderson, said: “This was an entirely unprovoked attack. You stopped your car and you got out.
“The personal statement was very moving, we find injury was sustained.”
Anderson got sentenced to 16 weeks in prison and was ordered to pay £100 compensation and £115 victim surcharge.
The police are taking a tough stance against hate crime these days. It doesn’t matter if it takes place on or off a football pitch, at school or just on the street, they will do everything in their power to arrest and prosecute those involved.
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