Skip to content
Home » Man Who Mocked Death Of Child Mascot Bradley Lowery Given Suspended Sentence And Football Ban

Man Who Mocked Death Of Child Mascot Bradley Lowery Given Suspended Sentence And Football Ban

A man has been given a suspended sentence and a five-year football ban after mocking the death of child mascot Bradley Lowery at a football match.

Dale Houghton, from Rotherham, pleaded guilty to a public order offence at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court in October and received a 12-week sentence suspended for 18 months.

He is also required to carry out 200 hours of unpaid voluntary work in the community.

Bradley was diagnosed with rare cancer neuroblastoma when he was just 18 months old and died aged six in 2017.

Image: Bradley Lowery in 2016 Houghton was seen holding up a picture of Bradley and laughing in the stands at Sheffield Wednesday’s match against Sunderland at Hillsborough Stadium on Friday 29 September.

An image of the incident was met with outrage on social media and sparked an apology from Sheffield Wednesday.

In his sentencing remarks, the judge called the actions of Houghton, 32, “appalling and disgraceful” and said that he “inflicted trauma on an already bereaved family”.

District Judge Marcus Waite said to Houghton: “You showed callous disrespect to a brave young man who was rightly held in the highest esteem by football fans everywhere.”

Bradley was a mascot for both Sunderland and England, and formed a close bond with his beloved team’s striker Jermain Defoe, who called Bradley his “best mate”.

At the time, Defoe said he was “appalled and saddened” by Houghton’s actions.

Image: Lowery with Jermain Defoe in 2016 He added: “My thoughts at this time go out to Gemma and Carl, Bradley’s parents, who shouldn’t have to deal with incidents like this, but rather be praised for the amazing work they are doing with the Bradley Lowery Foundation in their son’s memory.”

Whatever happened to ‘cancer has no colours’

Bradley’s mother previously told the court that she saw the picture on Facebook.

Mrs Lowery said it “wasn’t just disrespectful to Bradley, but also to other people as well”, and it risked causing “so much emotional trauma to other children with cancer”.

“I feel upset that these men have used this image of Bradley in order to get a reaction from the Sunderland fans,” her statement, which was read out in court last month, said – adding that it was “unforgivable”.

The Bradley Lowery Foundation – a charity set up by Bradley’s mother – released a statement at the time, saying: “Whatever happened to ‘cancer has no colours’ let alone respect for a family that lost their baby to cancer.”

Following the incident, more than £11,000 was raised for the foundation amid an outpouring of support.