A SWINDON Town court case was interrupted by members of the public showing pornography, blowing raspberries and screaming.

Around 140 people had dialled into the High Court hearing, which concerns whether the Robins is part owned by Premier League ace Gareth Barry’s agent Michael Standing.

The hearing, which was held over video conference programme Microsoft Teams, was labelled a “circus” by one of the barristers, who asked the judge to consider whether attendance at future hearings should be limited.

Master Iain Pester, the Chancery division judge who oversaw the 70 minute hearing on Tuesday, adjudicated on costs matters and set the case down for trial in late 2021 or early 2022.

Earlier, he had warned members of the public dialled into the call against making interruptions. He said: “During this hearing if you are not making submissions please turn your microphone to mute. Experience tells us it works much, much better.”

That advice was not heeded. The bizarre behaviour began with one user sharing his computer screen, showing a Google Image search page containing pornographic images of well-endowed men.

Master Pester told the barristers: “I’ve got quite a strange screen at the moment. I’m wondering who’s interfering with the conduct of the court?”

He added: “I’m afraid if this goes on I’m going to say only the representatives of the parties can attend, because we can’t have a hearing like this.” Moments later, a member of the public was heard to shout “suck my d***”.

More pornography flashed up on screens later in the call, while another user showed a succession of other images. The barristers and even the Master seemed to be muted by others at points.

In the text chat, which flashed up during the hearing, comments included “#PowerOut” and one person seeming to ask another if they wanted a cup of tea.

The antics, which culminated with people making firework noises, blowing raspberries and imitating the Scottish accent of Mr Standing’s barrister, drew condemnation from some. One user wrote in the chat: “Grow up, can we stop with the trolling?”

At the end of the hearing, Colin West QC, for Mr Standing, asked Master Pester to consider attendance at future hearings. “This has been a circus, I’m afraid,” he said.

The Master replied that he had taken the view it was best to ignore the interruptions and “soldier on”.

The case concerns claims that up to 50 per cent of Swindon Town chairman Lee Power’s share in the club is held in trust for Michael Standing.

An interim injunction, issued in 2019, prevents Mr Power from selling the club or shares in holding companies Swinton and Seebeck without Mr Standing’s permission.

A full injunction hearing is expected to take place at the end of 2021 or early 2022. The trial hearing is likely to last up to five days.

Mr Standing, who has brought the claim, was represented on Tuesday by Colin West QC. Tom Asquith appeared for defendant Mr Power.