Swansea fan accused of making racist gesture at Norwich player has charge dropped
A SWANSEA City fan accused of making a racist gesture towards a Premership footballer has had the case against him dropped.
Lee Ward, 23, from High Street, Glynneath, appeared in front of city magistrates and then a judge at Swansea Crown Court facing a charge of racially abusing Norwich City player Sebastian Bassong.
He was alleged to have made his arms into a monkey gesture directed at Mr Bassong.
Ward claimed his gesture of puffing up his cheeks and holding his arms around his waist was a gesture about the weight of another and not a monkey gesture.
Ward was due to stand trial at Swansea Crown Court.
The Crown Prosecution Service has today announced the case against him has been dropped.
Iwan Jenkins, District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, Wales, said: “All cases we prosecute are kept under review to ensure that they continue to meet the evidential and public interest requirements laid out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
“We have recently carried out a further review of all available evidence relating to the case against Lee Ward, following a complaint made at the Swansea City v Norwich City match at the Liberty Stadium on December 8, 2012.
“Our latest review concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction in this case. Specifically, the prosecution would not be able to prove, to the required legal standard, that Mr Ward’s actions were racist in intent. We would also not be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that his actions were specifically directed at the complainant.
“As a result, we have discontinued the case against Mr Ward. All parties have been informed of this decision.”