Ex-policeman Was Key To Alleged Racist Incident On Paris Métro, Court Hears

A former police officer from Northern Ireland was the “prime mover” in an alleged racist incident on the Paris Métro involving Chelsea fans in February, a court has heard.

Richard Barklie, 50, and three other Chelsea supporters face travel bans during international matches due to their alleged involvement in the incident after video footage showed a black man attempting to get on a Métro carriage but being pushed off by a group of fans travelling to a Chelsea Champions League match.

Adam Clemens, seeking the banning order on behalf of the Metropolitan police, told Stratford magistrates court in east London, that Barklie – who was not present – shoved Souleymane S, a father of three, as he tried to board the train. S was pushed off at Richelieu-Drouot station on 17 February before the match in which Chelsea drew 1-1 with Paris Saint-Germain.

“He pushed Mr Souleymane off twice and was instrumental and the prime mover in this [incident],” said Clemens.

The court watched footage showing S being removed forcefully from the carriage.

Jordan Munday (left) and William Simpson face travel bans. Jordan Munday (left) and William Simpson face travel bans. Photograph: PA

But the defence said the video showed that Barklie, from Carrickfergus, had his hands in his pockets and was not chanting. Nick Scott, defending, said his client’s work in human rights, “healing the scars of the Troubles in Northern Ireland”, showed he was a man of compassion.

Jordan Munday, 20, from Sidcup, south-east London, William Simpson, 26, from Ashford, Surrey, and Joshua Parsons, 20, Dorking, Surrey, were in court for the hearing.

They face a three- to five-year-ban ban from football matches and would have to surrender their passports if the case against them is proved.

The banning orders are aimed at stopping potential troublemakers from travelling to football matches at home and abroad.

At a preliminary hearing in March the four men and one other said they would contest the ban. Dean Callis, 32, from Islington, north London, accepted the measure last week.

He is barred from attending football matches in the UK for five years and will be forced to turn in his passport to Islington police during Home Office “control periods”.

Munday claimed he was being made a scapegoat. Police claim that he was being confrontational with PSG fans before the incident and had tried to cover his face. PC Neil West said Munday had been involved in an altercation with another man before joining in with the chanting.

But cross-examining the officer, Alison Gurden, for Munday, said: ‘The Met just want to make it seem like they are clamping down on football hooliganism.”

Black man is prevented from boarding Paris Métro

Saba Naqshbandi, for Parsons, claimed there was no jurisdiction for banning someone living outside London. Parsons has been suspended from his job at the Business and Commercial Finance Club.

Edward Fenner, for Simpson, is also considering contesting the order on the same grounds. The orders have been applied for under the Football Disorder Act 2000.

S, a French sales manager who had filmed the attack, said his life had been shattered by it. “It was a shock that I can’t get over,” he said. “You’re on your way home from work and you’re pushed out of the Métro just because you’re black and the people who are doing it to you say: ‘Yes, we’re racist and we like it like that, we’re fine with that.’

“All I was doing was trying to get home. I tried to go straight back to work and resume life after the attack, but after the trauma I found it very hard to get back on the Métro. I don’t take the Métro any more. For the first time in my life, I’m being treated for depression and I’ve had to take sick leave from work. It feels as if I’m not the same person I was before that attack.”

The case continues.

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