Spurs fan who hurled banana at Arsenal footie star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in racist outburst at North London Derby is fined £600

Tottenham season ticket holder Averof Panteli, 57, launched the peel after striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a penalty in the north London Derby that saw the Gunners triumphed 4-2 at home on December 2.

The granddad has already been banned from Tottenham games for life by the club but magistrates today also stopped him attending any other games.

Panteli was also told to pay £635 in fines and costs after magistrates uplifted the sum because of the "racial element."

He denied the gesture was racist when he admitted throwing the banana during a court hearing today, but magistrates rejected his claim.

The widower threw the skin, which he picked up after a child nearby finished eating the banana, when Aubameyang netted a penalty in the tenth minute.

He was arrested and bailed until he appeared today at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court, just half-a-mile from the Emirates Stadium, where the incident happened.

Grey-haired Panteli, of Norwich, Norfolk, stood in front of the dock wearing a dark jacket over a white shirt with its top button undone and a loose tie.

Speaking with a London accent, he confirmed his nationality as British and also asked for the charge to be amended to say he threw a "banana skin" and not a "banana".

Prosecuting, Tom Gill said: "The banana skin was thrown on the pitch after one of the black Arsenal players, Aubameyang, scored a goal and was celebrating in the vicinity of the Tottenham fans.

"This was thrown in the direction of the player."

Chair of the bench Mervyn Mandell said: "It's a deliberate action, we find that it was a targeted gesture to throw a banana skin after a goal was scored by a black player."

He fine Panteli £500, adding: "We have in the circumstances found that the racial element was there."

The fine included a £100 uplift because of the racial element.

Panteli was also told to pay £85 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

Defending, Leila Rasool said Panteli is from a Greek-Cypriot background and has no previous convictions.

She said the skin was thrown "onto the pitch, not directed at a player" and the allegation of racism is "not substantiated."

Ms Rasool added: "He's a long-standing supporter of Tottenham and he has been going since age seven for 50 years at home and away.

"There have never been any incidents of disorder or violence."

She said Panteli was a season ticket holder, and said he had picked up the banana skin and thrown it in the "spur of the moment".

Ms Rasool added: "He's been subject to death threats."

Two other men, Charlie Watts, 26, and Jason Paul Gannon, 36, were also charged separately with throwing missiles onto the pitch at the game.

Watts, from St Albans, was banned from football matches for three years and handed a £650 fine and £150 in costs.


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