A man who racially abused Brentford frontman Ivan Toney on social media has been banned from every football stadium in the United Kingdom.
The ban which will last for three years is the first banning order issued under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.
Toney had shared a picture of the abuse he received via his Instagram account last year October.
His post went viral which led the Northumbria Police in collaboration with the Metropolitan Police to launch a full investigation into the incident they described as a hate crime.
Their investigation revealed that 24-year-old Antonio Neill sent the racist message to Toney on October 14.
Neill pleaded guilty to racially abusing Toney when he appeared before magistrates in Newcastle on January 25.
The magistrates then passed their judgement on Monday, March 13, handing Neill a four-month sentence, two years suspension for the online offence and three years football banning order.
Superintendent Scott Cowie, hate crime lead for Northumbria Police, said he was delighted with the outcome while thanking the court for its ruling.
“Discrimination has absolutely no place in any society, whether out in our communities or online.
"I am therefore delighted that the seriousness of Neill’s offence has been reflected with this banning order, which forbids him from attending any regulated football in the United Kingdom.
“I hope this reinforces our commitment to taking action against anybody who commits a hate crime – it will not be tolerated and we will do all we can to put perpetrators before the courts.
"I would like to thank everyone who played their part in this particular case, including the team of officers who worked tirelessly to secure justice as well as our colleagues at the Metropolitan Police, the UK Football Policing Unit and the Premier League.”
Brentford added that they are pleased to see the case resolved, describing the ban issued to Neill as a "landmark ruling."
A statement from Brentford Football Club reads: "Brentford FC is pleased to see the Antonio Neill case resolved and that Northumbria Police pursued this to a conclusion.
"Court appearances set a strong precedent for anyone else who commits hate crimes and it is our hope that sentences increase in severity until this sort of crime is eradicated.
"Ivan Toney has been subject to sickening racist abuse on a regular basis, and we want to see tough action taken against anyone found guilty of such abuse.
"The club firmly believes there is no place for racial abuse in football and we continue to support and implement a zero-tolerance policy towards discriminatory behaviour of any kind.
"All authorities have their role to play in this and we, again, call upon the social media companies to make their platforms safe for all participants and to remove all hateful content."