The Wolves fan accused of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress towards Rio Ferdinand will face a retrial after a Wolverhampton Crown Court judge discharged the jury on Tuesday.
Jamie Arnold, 32, allegedly made monkey gestures and hurled racist insults towards Ferdinand while the TV pundit worked during the Wolves vs Manchester United match on May 21, 2021.
Arnold had been called into court this week to face the accusations, but he will now return for a new trial at a later date after jurors were deemed unfit for for legal reasons.
What is known about the case
Ferdinand told jurors that he didn't notice any abuse from Arnold during at Molineux, but he did notice "more aggressive body language" than usual from the man.
However, a member of his security team, Stuart Munden-Edge, has claimed he spotted the monkey gestures and heard racist language in an account supported by other eyewitnesses. Munden-Edge alerted authorities to the matter.
“[Arnold] was shouting the abuse at Rio and doing a monkey gesture, with his hands, under his arms," Wolves supporter Mark Zammit, a witness to the incident, told jurors. “He shouted ‘Rio you f*cking monkey’.
“I was in total disbelief, I was shocked, I’m used to banter at football stadiums but in my time going, I’ve never seen anything like that."
Arnold has denied that he abused Ferdinand at the match. A retrial date has not yet been determined.