The comedian who plays BBC character Lee Nelson duped security at a Premier League match and limbered up alongside star players has escaped prosecution.
Simon Brodkin, 35, was given a conditional caution at North Liverpool Community Justice Centre following the stunt ahead of Manchester City’s away game against Everton at Goodison Park on March 16.
Simon, from north London, had dressed as one of his characters, footballer Jason Bent, with blond highlights, shark-fin haircut and designer stubble to blend in with the likes of England’s Joe Hart and Gareth Barry ahead of kick-off.
The qualified doctor, who has his own sketch show on BBC Three, was later charged with going on to the playing area, contrary to the Football Offences Act.
But at his court appearance, Julian Peers, for the prosecution, invited District Judge Ian Lomax to take an ‘alternative course to prosecution’. The judge agreed to the charge being withdrawn and Simon was issued with a six-month conditional caution.
Raymond Shaw, defending, said the comedian wanted to apologise for the inconvenience he caused. “It was intended to be a humorous act and intended to be funny,” the solicitor said. “It is clear from the television footage that some of the players were amused, but he didn’t know it was a criminal offence. He expressed his remorse immediately when he was spoken to by the club and the police and he does so again now.”
The Jason Bent character is Simon’s take on the bling lifestyle enjoyed by professional footballers. He appears in BBC Three’s Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show, which Simon hosts and stars in.
The BBC said he was not filming for the broadcaster on the day of the Goodison Park stunt.
The funnyman left court in his Jason Bent persona, accompanied by a glamorous Wag-style girlfriend called Crystal, and read a series of jokes in a Liverpool accent. “I’ve got a lot of people I want to thank. Firstly Carlos Tevez for giving me a lift into court this morning,” he said. “Crystal, who’s been there for me every step of the way ever since we met in the hotel last night. Thanks also to the judge, who was sat on the bench but unfortunately didn’t get a game.”
Asked if he was mocking the judicial system, the star made no reply and climbed into a waiting taxi.