Manchester United fan's 'offensive' sticker censored

Graham Webb-Lee
Image caption Sarah Webb-Lee's husband Graham, 40, is a Manchester City fan

A Manchester United fan has had her bumper sticker censored after a complaint was made to police that it was "offensive".

Sarah Webb-Lee, 39, from Stockport, had a car sticker which read: "On the first day God created United then completely [expletive] up and created City."

When officers told her to take it down she refused, but later agreed to have a letter removed.

Police said the swear word used breached public order legislation.

A neighbourhood team officer was sent round to Mrs Webb-Lee's home in Cale Green, Stockport, after a local councillor passed on to police a complaint they had received from a resident.

She was informed that the language used on the sticker was offensive under the terms of Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

"I couldn't believe it when they told me," she said.

Facing fine

She added: "I see sexist stickers and slogans which offend me and which are much worse than swearing but no way would I phone the police."

Told she would face a fine if she refused to take it down, Mrs Webb-Lee reluctantly agreed to rub out a vowel in the swear word.

"It's my car and I'll decorate it how I like," she said. "It's free speech and I should be allowed to say what I want."

Her husband Graham, 40, a Manchester City fan, said his wife put the sticker on her Vauxhall Corsa "for a laugh" three years ago.

"It's just a bit of banter between fans," he said. "I'm a City fan and you hear much worse at the match."

Greater Manchester Police said the couple were asked to either remove the sticker or some of the letters contained within the offensive word, which they did willingly.

Insp Stephen Gilbertson said: "We received a complaint about the language contained in a car sticker that, by law, is offensive.

"All we did is make the relevant people aware and asked them to either remove the sticker or some letters within the swear word, which they willingly did.

"It is important to stress this had nothing whatsoever to do with any football team and was solely in relation to an offensive word."

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