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Chelsea fan denies being racist to black man he pushed off train

Chelsea fan denies being racist to black man he pushed off train

Richard Barklie (50) allegedly pushed an innocent man off a train and shouted "John Terry is a racist and that's the way we like it".

But Barklie denies having "racist motives" and that Souleymane Sylla was the "aggressor".

Barklie, of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, served as an officer with the Royal Ulster Constabulary and is a director with the World Human Rights Forum.

He told Stratford Magistrates' Court in east London the Metro train was "packed" and he only pushed Mr Sylla off because there was no room.

He said: "Mr Sylla, and it's my view, was the only one using aggression.

"From what I've seen and what I've viewed he was aggressively forcing himself into a space where there was none."

All of the footage shot by a bystander, which is shown below, was discussed in the court room.

But Barklie said he only put his hands up to protect himself.

He said: "I think he (Mr Sylla) had tried to get on first and then he tried to get on again, but by that stage he was shouting.

"It's not clear here but I've seen other footage and it's more clear he was shouting and there was spray coming from his mouth.

"I did push him, I put my hands up to stop him getting into the space where I was standing.

"From my perception there were others behind me trying to get towards Mr Sylla and I felt myself getting pushed forward by the momentum."

Nick Scott, for Barklie, asked his client if "there was any issue in relation to the colour of his skin" and Barklie replied: "None whatsoever."

The defendant added: "I think he was remonstrating that there was room in the carriage. But it was packed and there was no room for him."

Barklie said he feared there could be "repercussions" if the Parisian managed to get on board the carriage because of the large number of Chelsea fans aboard.

The court heard trouble flared up as Chelsea fans were on their way to see the West London club play against Paris St Germain on February 17 in a Champions League tie.

Two other men – Josh Parsons, 20, of Dorking, Surrey, and William Simpson, 26, of Ashford, Surrey – deny wrongdoing and are similarly fighting the police's application for football banning orders.