FOUR Saints fans have been handed football banning orders after making offensive gestures relating to the death of Argentine striker Emiliano Sala.

The player was being flown from France to the UK to join Cardiff City when his plane plunged into the sea, killing both him and the pilot.

A few days after Sala’s body was recovered Saints played Cardiff at St Mary’s Stadium.

Some of the home crowd were seen to be taunting the opposition supporters by sticking their arms out and mimicking the actions of a plane in trouble.

At Southampton Magistrates’ Court yesterday the four defendants were handed orders banning them from attending any regulated football fixtures, including those involving Saints or the England squad, for three years.

Simon Jones, prosecuting, described the defendants’ actions as “disgusting”.

He said they indulged in mocking, abusive and disrespectful behaviour “which was directed at the people who would be the most offended”.

The defendants were Jake Carman, 49, of Deacon Road, Southampton, Mark Ferrett, 53, of Romsey Road, Lockerley, Adam Holbrook, 25, of Radcliffe Road, Southampton and William Kinley, 23 of Westbrook Way, Southampton, who all admitted threatening behaviour.

As a result of yesterday’s hearing and previous court appearances all four have now been fined and given banning orders.

Mr Jones said the actions of Kinley in particular incensed the Cardiff supporters, who were wearing yellow daffodils as a mark of respect following Sala’s death.

As Kinley was being ejected from St Mary’s he was heard to shout “flying home”, the court heard.

Janet Brownlow, representing Kinley “struggled with life” and suffered from anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder.

She added: “This is a young man who has made a mistake. It was a very bad mistake, but it was a small mistake.”

Helen Dawson, representing Carman, said her client was full of remorse.

She said he had supported Saints for 40 years and once took part in a charity walk held in aid of a young player who was suffering from leukaemia. “This is a person who is never likely to come before these courts again,” added Miss Brownlow.

Ferrett told the court: “I made a terrible mistake.”

Carman and Kinley both contested the prosecution’s application for banning orders but the magistrates described the defendants’ actions as “disgusting, totally disrepectful and potentially inciteful”.