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Three fined for 'vile' abuse of England head coach Jones

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Eddie Jones had been asked to pose for photos the day after Scotland beat England in the Six Nations

Three men have been fined for verbally abusing England rugby union coach Eddie Jones at a railway station.

They hurled foul-mouthed taunts at Mr Jones, 58, in Manchester on 25 February, the day after Scotland beat England 25-13 in the Six Nations.

Richie Cleeton, 22, Connor Inglis, 25, and Brett Grant, 23, all pleaded guilty to a public order offence at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.

Chairman of the bench Joe Bangudu said their language “was vile”.

Footage released online showed the trio, all from Edinburgh, approaching Jones for a photograph as he left Manchester Oxford Road railway station to catch a waiting car.

One of the men then shouted “what about last night” and repeatedly swore at Mr Jones using offensive language as he was ushered into a vehicle by his driver.

The court heard one of the group rubbed the coach on the head and attempted to kiss him on the head, and Grant prolonged the incident by opening the car door once Mr Jones was inside.

The driver described Mr Jones, who did not make a statement, as appearing to be “quite shaken” and said he believed the incident could have escalated and “may have become physical”.

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The defendants abused Eddie Jones outside Manchester Oxford Road station

Mr Bangudu said the men chose “a public vicinity” to display their “drunken behaviour” and had shown no remorse.

He described the abuse as “short-lived but disgraceful” and said “no-one should ever have to put up with such language and behaviour”.

“Your language, although described by your defence as industrial, we think was vile and therefore unacceptable directed to anybody.”

Matthew Wallace, representing all three defendants, said “It was not conduct that is threatening. No-one is trying to hit him [Mr Jones] or manhandle him. We are talking about the space of 10 seconds.”

The men admitted using threatening abusive words and behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Cleeton, of Carrick Knowe Avenue, was fined £120, Inglis, of Cornhill Terrace, received a fine of £105 and Grant, of Drum Crescent, was fined £140.

All three were also ordered to pay court costs of £115 each.

A fourth defendant, Dale Cleeton, 25, also of Carrick Knowe Avenue, pleaded not guilty to the same offence and will go on trial in August.



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