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Man sentenced for posting racist tweets about Mo Salah

|News, Cyber / online crime

A 32-year-old Liverpool man has been sentenced for posting racist tweets about the Liverpool FC player Mohammed Salah.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Gary Hyland, who is from Bootle, posted the tweets during an online discussion with Liverpool FC fans on the Twitter social media site on 6 August 2019 at 3:40 am.

During the course of many tweets, Hyland became racially abusive, targeting Liverpool player Mo Salah.

He pleaded guilty to racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on 9 August 2019. He also pleaded guilty to a further charge of obstructing an officer in the execution of his duty.

He was given a six-week jail term today, 30 August 2019, which was suspended for 12 months. The CPS prosecuted the case as a Hate Crime. The sentence was increased from four weeks to six weeks because of the racial/religious element of the harassment.

He was also sentenced to 28 days' imprisonment for obstructing the police officer. This will run alongside the other jail term and was also suspended for 12 months.

He must do 200 hours of unpaid work in the community as part of his sentence and 14 days of a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, including attending a Promoting Human Dignity Course. He must pay costs and a £122 victim surcharge.

In the tweets, Hyland joked about the player, who is a Muslim, praying to Mecca at half time and sent altered images of the whole team praying to Allah. During the discussion, another person said “What’s the issue with Muslims lad. Can you even articulate it?"

In response to this, Hyland sent a picture of Salah at Chelsea FC’s ground,  a suicide vest had been superimposed on the top part of the player’s body. He sent further altered images that poked fun at people praying to Allah.

The tweets were reported to Merseyside Police and two days later, Hyland was arrested at his home.

Hyland later said to officers “I know I'll get charged. It was me.”

Angela Conlan of Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: “When police came to arrest Hyland at his home and asked for his mobile phone, he said he couldn’t find it. His partner said it was on the couch and Hyland became really agitated and starting shouting at her, until he eventually retrieved it from under a cushion.

“He pleaded guilty and admitted what he had done was stupid.These sorts of remarks fuel racial hatred and are extremely offensive to people from the race or religion that they are aimed at.

“Mohammed Salah does not deserve to be the object of abuse, and neither does any person in a civilised society. The tweets were sent in the early hours of the morning and Hyland turned a  discussion into a racist rant.

“That is not acceptable.Let this be a lesson to everyone that words can hurt and society has standards that must be upheld.”

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