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UK Student Jailed for Racist Tweets About Muamba

By - Source: Guardian | B 25 comments
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A British student has been jailed for almost two months for tweeting insensitive and racist comments after the collapse of Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba.

Fabrice Muamba's Bolton Wanderers were playing a match against Tottenham on St. Patrick's Day when the 23-year-old midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest on the field. The incident was seen by thousands of people, both in the stadium and on live television, and stunned the nation. Muamba is thankfully now on the mend, but a 21-year-old Swansea University student is facing the consequences after making insensitive and racist comments about the incidenct.

The Guardian reports that Liam Stacey was arrested after tweets made by him were reported to police by Twitter users across Britain. The student today admitted incitement to racial hatred and was jailed for 56 days. Stacey claims he was drunk when he tweeted the first message, which read, "LOL, F*** Muamba. He's dead." When Twitter users criticized his message, he responded with racist messages.

District judge John Charles jailed Stacey for 56 days saying he had no choice but to impose an immediate custodial sentence "to reflect the public outrage" at what Stacey had done. The student said he was drunk when he sent the messages and that he is not a racist person. "I don't know why I posted it. I'm not racist and some of my friends are from different cultural backgrounds," he's quoted as saying.

Read the full story here.

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  • 2 Hide
    blubbey , 28 March 2012 16:12
    What a moron.

    "What is said when drunk has been thought out beforehand"

    Flemish Proverb
  • 0 Hide
    eiskrystal , 28 March 2012 16:43
    http://jezebel.com/5896408 - No alcohol involved. Humans have a looong way to go.

  • 1 Hide
    joedastudd , 28 March 2012 16:44
    The ironic thing is had it been a coloured person, it would have been ignored.
    Racism in the UK is only seen as happening one way, white against non-white.
    A few months back a woman (white) was physically attacked by 3 Muslim girls. Even though there was witnesses and CCTV footage the girls walked away scot-free. If it was the other way around the girls would have been charged not only with assault but on racist grounds (5+ years of jail time).
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    evilsooty , 28 March 2012 16:45
    This confirms there is no such thing as free speech in the UK. People need to grow thicker skins - no-one has the right to not be offended.
  • 1 Hide
    fishyfish , 28 March 2012 17:36
    Why don't we sue makers of "White people can't jump"? This is clearly a racist title!
  • 2 Hide
    fishyfish , 28 March 2012 17:37
    evilsootyThis confirms there is no such thing as free speech in the UK. People need to grow thicker skins - no-one has the right to not be offended.



    Of course you have a right to free speech, unless you are white, heterosexual and christian family man with a job and mortgage, then everyone else might be offended by anything you don't like.
  • 2 Hide
    sam_p_lay , 28 March 2012 18:33
    evilsootyThis confirms there is no such thing as free speech in the UK. People need to grow thicker skins - no-one has the right to not be offended.


    This makes me ashamed to live in this country. This mentality of the police/government as a school teacher makes me sick. 'Ummmmm I'm telling on you!' Grow the **** up. Being rude isn't illegal. Being a dick isn't illegal. Swearing isn't illegal.

    What used to be the greatest justice system in the world is now an embarrassment and a joke. Theft and violent crimes don't go to court (in many cases spot fines won't even be issued if they risk contributing to statistics that aren't in the police/govt's interests), and yet this guy gets prison time for a tweet. This country needs a radically different leadership and justice system before it becomes universally despised and ridiculed as the world's nutcase (yeah we could give North Korea a run for their money interms of WTF).
  • -1 Hide
    eiskrystal , 28 March 2012 21:27
    Quote:
    1) admitted incitement to racial hatred
    2) When Twitter users criticized his message, he responded with racist messages.


    Pay attention... it wasn't one tweet it was a blast of racist abuse. Which thankfully is illegal regardless of the medium.

    Quote:
    Of course you have a right to free speech, unless you are white, heterosexual and christian family man with a job and mortgage, then everyone else might be offended by anything you don't like.


    Probably because what you "don't like" is everyone who isn't rich, white, hetero, male and christian. Pull up your pants, your privilege is showing.
  • 1 Hide
    Zingam , 28 March 2012 21:31
    I live in another European country. Here no so white people (gypsies) regularly attack to rob old people living in distant villages. And usually they not just rob them but beat them to death and even rape them (can you imagine raping an 80 years old grandma??).
    Meanwhile the European union officials constantly nag our country that we should give even more rights to gypsies, etc.

    Recently a granddad was attacked in his home by a band of gypsies (AGAIN). He got a gun and shot them. Then he was tried and jailed. So according to the modern law system: you have the right to be ropped, beaten and raped but you have no right to protect yourself or your property?!?

    I have listened to similar stories from other European countries too (incl. UK)
  • 2 Hide
    evilsooty , 28 March 2012 21:34
    'Pay attention... it wasn't one tweet it was a blast of racist abuse. Which thankfully is illegal regardless of the medium'

    Why should insulting people, for whatever reason, be illegal? The law (in the vast majority of cases) shouldn't be in the business of protecting people's feelings.

    Unless there were threats of, or incitement to, violence against the footballer I am baffled why the police took action.
  • 2 Hide
    fishyfish , 28 March 2012 21:44
    eiskrystalPay attention... it wasn't one tweet it was a blast of racist abuse. Which thankfully is illegal regardless of the medium.Probably because what you "don't like" is everyone who isn't rich, white, hetero, male and christian. Pull up your pants, your privilege is showing.


    It has nothing to do with social status or cultural/ethnic background and I consider myself quite open-minded, but it is hard to miss certain shift towards minorities rights while ignoring the rest of society. If two people get drunk and fight in a pub, it's just an incident, they both go home. But if one of them happens to be gay/muslim/whatever, the other will be in serious trouble for racial incident.

    Take the airline workers told to hide their christian pedants at work and imagine the outrage if someone asks muslim to take his turban off. You see what I mean now?
  • 0 Hide
    fishyfish , 28 March 2012 22:05
    And as a curiosity - have you ever seen an "Heterosexual parade"? Would you be allowed to organise one since some gay people might be offended?

    How about banning Christmas decorations in schools and calling it a "seasonal greetings", in case someone feels offended? How about offending 71.6% of british society who happen to be christian? Don't get me started. ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    sam_p_lay , 28 March 2012 22:07
    +1 to FishyFish and evilsooty. The problem is not offensive tweets - the problem is morons, and this country is overflowing with them. People who think that racism means being mean to people with dark skin. And then go on to make stupid generalisations about the French or Americans (that's cool if it's a joke though :-)).

    What we need is a common sense party, maybe the No Bull**** Party to fix this stupid country. The government thinks the population are idiots and has taught much of that population to think like idiots. And this kind of news is exactly how they're doing it - teach people that if they say something mean, they go to prison. I'm deeply ashamed of this country.
  • 0 Hide
    fishyfish , 28 March 2012 22:13
    sam_p_lay+1 to FishyFish and evilsooty. The problem is not offensive tweets - the problem is morons, and this country is overflowing with them. People who think that racism means being mean to people with dark skin. And then go on to make stupid generalisations about the French or Americans (that's cool if it's a joke though :-)).What we need is a common sense party, maybe the No Bull**** Party to fix this stupid country. The government thinks the population are idiots and has taught much of that population to think like idiots. And this kind of news is exactly how they're doing it - teach people that if they say something mean, they go to prison. I'm deeply ashamed of this country.



    People just need to step back and learn to certain comments, that's it. If you wan't to call me an idiot, it's your right to do so. I might feel offended, but it won't hurt me (and if it does hurt someone, they should get a life). And you nailed it with Frenchies, Poles or American jokes. Why is it OK to call all americans fat bastards, but it's not OK to call black unemployed ppl lazy? I don't get it and never will.
  • -1 Hide
    eiskrystal , 28 March 2012 22:13
    Quote:
    Unless there were threats of, or incitement to, violence against the footballer I am baffled why the police took action.


    There was clearly something to be charged with. Since we haven't seen the other tweets though we will have to wait and see. Since he was drunk and started tweeting a load of stuff back to people, i'm guessing it got bad. That kind of thing is NEVER pretty.

    There also seems to be this thing where "tweeting" is somehow not as bad as doing it in person. Maybe it's the fact "tweet" sounds so silly. But you are in fact broadcasting to the entire world.

    If two people get drunk and fight in a pub, it's just an incident, they both go home. But if one of them happens to be gay/muslim/whatever, the other will be in serious trouble for racial incident.Take the airline workers told to hide their christian pedants at work and imagine the outrage if someone asks muslim to take his turban off. You see what I mean now?

    Well no, it's a racial incident if the fight starts "because" of racism. If someone starts hitting me for being the "wrong colour" or the "wrong sex" i sure as hell am gonna get them charged for it.

    As for christian pendents vs turbans, take it up with the airline officials. It is a mystery to me too. Aside from the fact you're waving around a guy being tortured on a chain around your neck. So there's possibly a health and safety issue. Turbans keep your hair in place, so even without the turban, some other kind of instrument would be needed to hold the hair in place.

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    evilsooty , 28 March 2012 22:43
    'There was clearly something to be charged with. Since we haven't seen the other tweets though we will have to wait and see. Since he was drunk and started tweeting a load of stuff back to people, i'm guessing it got bad. That kind of thing is NEVER pretty.

    There also seems to be this thing where "tweeting" is somehow not as bad as doing it in person. Maybe it's the fact "tweet" sounds so silly. But you are in fact broadcasting to the entire world.'

    Under the law as it stands you can be charged for inciting racial hatred (whatever that is) so I agree there were grounds to be charged otherwise it wouldn't have made it to court. My problem is that there is even such a law in the first place. It should be repealed along with all the other incitement to hatred laws due to the implications for free speech and the power it gives the police.

    'Well no, it's a racial incident if the fight starts "because" of racism. If someone starts hitting me for being the "wrong colour" or the "wrong sex" i sure as hell am gonna get them charged for it.'

    I have never understood aggravating factors on the grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation. I can't see how it makes a jot of difference to a person who has been assaulted whether the perpetrator did it because they hate people of their race or if they did it because they don't like the way they are dressed.

  • 0 Hide
    eiskrystal , 28 March 2012 22:52
    Quote:
    And as a curiosity - have you ever seen an "Heterosexual parade"? Would you be allowed to organise one since some gay people might be offended?


    Unless heterosexuality becomes an oppressed minority i don't think we quite need to do that. Feel free to organise one if you do one day feel oppressed because someone different from you wants to show that they exist and are real people though.

    Quote:
    How about banning Christmas decorations in schools and calling it a "seasonal greetings", in case someone feels offended?


    Well demanding that someone of another religion celebrates "your" religion in a government building just because "your" religion is popular is actually kind of insulting. If government started only celebrating hindu holidays in all school buildings you'd think they had gone mad and be up in arms.

    And 71.6% christian...really? Maybe if you include people that only go to churches for funerals and weddings.

  • 0 Hide
    eiskrystal , 28 March 2012 23:03
    Quote:
    I can't see how it makes a jot of difference to a person who has been assaulted whether the perpetrator did it because they hate people of their race or if they did it because they don't like the way they are dressed.


    Your race and sex is directly linked to your self and sense of worth. Now imagine being repeatedly told that your sex implies you are worthless and "damaged". Then someone decides that since you are a second class citizen (everybody says, so it must be true) that they have the right to hurt you for fun.

    So basically if someone attacks you because of your clothes, they are the moron. If they attack you on the back of a societal belief that you "deserved it" for daring to exist then you feel like it's your fault.

    It matters a lot.
  • 0 Hide
    evilsooty , 28 March 2012 23:20
    I see your point and there would be scope for such issues to be raised as aggravating factors during sentencing if merited. My problem is that we have a separate offence which carries a higher sentence if established just because a racial/religious/sexual motive can be established.





  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , 29 March 2012 00:37
    "to reflect the public outrage"

    The point of having an impartial judge rather than a lynch mob is so that the immediate public over-reaction to just about everything is NOT reflected in sentencing of people convicted of crimes. (Leaving aside whether this should be a crime - since I haven't seen the 'illegal' tweets I can't say!)
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