Football fan given suspended jail term over Bradley Lowery taunt
Dale Houghton (32) was condemned for his “outrageous and utterly deplorable” behaviour at the match at Hillsborough.
Six-year-old Sunderland fan Bradley suffered from childhood cancer neuroblastoma and died in 2017.
His image was held up by Houghton on a phone screen when the Owls faced the Black Cats in September.
Houghton, of Black Carr Road in Wickersley, was sentenced at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Friday (17), having admitted intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress at an earlier hearing.
A police spokesperson said: “During interview, Houghton described to officers how he thought his actions were ‘enjoyable banter’ and that he had ‘found it funny’, without any understanding how his actions impacted a continually grieving family.”
Houghton – a season ticket holder for 25 years – was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also given a five-year football banning order.
Supt Charlotte Bloxham said: “My thoughts are with Bradley’s family who have had to endure this fresh pain and turmoil as they continue to grieve the loss of their beloved boy.
“I hope the criminal investigation of Houghton and the subsequent repercussions his actions have had on his life, including the loss of his job, highlight how this behaviour will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire.”
An online appeal for donations after the incident raised almost £30,000 for the Bradley Lowery Foundation.