THREE children were subjected to racist abuse during a major international fixture at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl cricket ground.

The youngsters, aged 11, 13 and 14, had returned to their seats after buying food during England’s clash against South Africa this summer – only to find three men had taken their places.

When the siblings asked them to move, a court heard, one of the men, John Guinelly, said: “I don’t understand – are they talking Dutch or something?”

Southampton Magistrates’ Court was told how the 44-year-old then used racist comments as he was being asked by a steward to move.

But his offensive behaviour did not end there, the court heard.

Once they had reclaimed their seats, one of the youngsters went to meet his father to collect some extra clothing for the evening session.

And as Guinelly was being spoken to by stewards and police, he spotted the teenager and unleashed another racist insult, the court heard.

Guinelly, of Powerscourt Road, Portsmouth, did not appear for the hearing, but instead sent a letter to court indicating he would plead guilty to racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.

He claimed he had not intended to cause alarm and described it as “friendly banter”.

Magistrates described his actions towards the children as “threatening and abusive” adding that the trio, who were not with adults, had been in a “vulnerable” position.

Guinelly must pay each victim £500 and £65 court costs.