Court case deciding future of Swindon Town football club descends into ‘circus’ as fans show porn and swear in video conference hearing
- Around 140 people dailed into hearing which centres around Swindon Town FC
- The hearing was described as a ‘circus’ as people shouted and played porn
- Judge adjudicated on costs matters and set the case for trial in late 2021 or 2022
A court case involving ex-footballer Gareth Barry’s agent was interrupted by members of the public playing pornography, blowing raspberries and screaming.
Around 140 people had dialled into the High Court hearing which centres around Swindon Town FC.
The case is to rule around whether the club is part-owned by the former Premier League ace’s agent, Michael Standing.
But one of the barristers at the hearing described the process descending into a ‘circus’.
The case concerns claims that up to 50 per cent of Swindon Town chairman Lee Power’s (left) share in the club is held in trust for Michael Standing
At the end of the hearing, Colin West QC, for Mr Standing, asked Master Pester to consider attendance at future hearings.
“This has been a circus, I’m afraid,” he said.
After people were told to mute their microphones when not speaking, the court was subjected to pornographic pictures.
There were also people who imitated Scottish accents and shouted outbursts of “suck my d***.”
One user shared his computer screen showing a Google Image search page containing pornographic images.
Master Iain Pester, the Chancery division judge, oversaw the 70 minute hearing on Tuesday.
An interim injunction, issued in 2019, prevents Mr Power from selling the club or shares in holding companies Swinton and Seebeck without Mr Standing’s (pictured) permission
He adjudicated on costs matters and set the case down for trial in late 2021 or early 2022.
Master Pester told the barristers: “I’ve got quite a strange screen at the moment.
“I’m wondering who’s interfering with the conduct of the court?
“I’m afraid if this goes on I’m going to say only the representatives of the parties can attend, because we can’t have a hearing like this.”
Moments later, a member of the public was heard shouting obscenities.
More pornography flashed up on screens later in the call while another user showed a succession of other images.
The antics culminated with people making firework noises, blowing raspberries and imitating the Scottish accent of Mr Standing’s barrister.
One user wrote in the chat: “Grow up, can we stop with the trolling?”
The Master replied that he had taken the view it was best to ignore the interruptions and “soldier on.”
The case concerns claims that up to 50 per cent of Swindon Town chairman Lee Power’s share in the club is held in trust for Michael Standing.
An interim injunction, issued in 2019, prevents Mr Power from selling the club or shares in holding companies Swinton and Seebeck without Mr Standing’s permission.
A full injunction hearing is expected to take place at the end of 2021 or early 2022.
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