A football fan who mocked mascot Bradley Lowery during a football match has been spared immediate jail by a judge who said his actions were "utterly appalling" and "disgraceful".
Six year-old Sunderland fan Bradley died from a rare cancer in 2017. Bradley and his family received a huge amount of public support when they raised over £1m to fund treatment for his condition in America. Sheffield Wednesday fan Dale Houghton, 32, taunted Sunderland fans with a picture of Bradley, who died in 2017, on his phone during a match at Hillsborough Stadium on September.
Bradley was first diagnosed with stage four, high risk, neuroblastoma on January 7 2013. Although Bradley went into remission, he relapsed in 2016. With UK health providers unable to treat him, his family were forced to begin fundraising for alternative treatment in America.
Houghton, from Rotherham, admitted a public order offence at a previous hearing and on Friday he was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work by District Judge Marcus Waite.
Mr Waite said: "You showed callous disrespect to a brave young man who was rightly held in the highest esteem by football fans everywhere."
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