By Tony Ubani reporting from London
A Lithuanian man who gave a Nazi salute during an Olympic basketball match has become the first person to be convicted of a racially aggravated offence at the Games and fined £2,500. He was told that his behaviour and that of other Lithuanian fans was “despicable”.
Petras Lescinskas, 36, an accountant from Lithuania, was arrested on Tuesday at the Olympic basketball arena during the Lithuania-Nigeria match. Stratford magistrates court was told that he and other Lithuanian supporters had been behaving in such a loud and aggressive manner that other spectators moved away from them. There were “monkey-style noises when Nigerian players had the ball”, the court heard.
Becky Owen, prosecuting, told the court. “He was seen to make a Nazi salute,” while placing his fingers across his lips. Lescinskas, a married man who had come to London for the Games, told police after his arrest that it was common practice in his country to celebrate in that way and it was something he has been doing for some time the court was told.