Sentencing adjourned in Andy Cole racism trial

Monday 03 March 2014 17.50
Mr Cole is a club ambassador at Manchester United and involved in the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign
Mr Cole is a club ambassador at Manchester United and involved in the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign

The sentencing of two men involved in an incident when former Manchester United footballer Andy Cole was racially abused on a plane has been adjourned.

Mr Cole was returning to the UK on a flight from Dublin to Manchester on 29 December when the incident happened.

Lee Patrick Byrne, 28, from, Blanchardstown, Dublin, and Gregory Horan, 26, of Castleknock, Dublin, were arrested on landing.

Police were first called to Manchester Airport following reports that two passengers were drunk and would not co-operate with Aer Lingus cabin crew.

Mr Byrne pleaded guilty at Trafford Magistrates' Court in January to a racially aggravated public order offence and being drunk on an aircraft.

Mr Horan also admitted being drunk on an aircraft.

Both were due to be sentenced today at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester but the hearing was adjourned.

The court today heard Mr Byrne was "in jeopardy" of going to jail and a pre-sentence report was required for both defendants.

However, as both are not UK citizens they would now be required to live and find a job in Britain so that the Probation Service can prepare reports on them.

Judge Andrew Lowcock agreed to adjourn sentencing until 7 April, adding that if they were in work in the UK "that may have some bearing on the subsequent outcome".

Mr Cole, from Cheshire, is now a club ambassador at Manchester United and is also involved in the Kick It Out campaign, which aims to stamp out racist abuse in football.