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Mo Salah: Man pleads guilty to posting racist tweets

|News, Cyber / online crime , Hate crime

A 32-year-old Liverpool man has pleaded guilty to posting racist tweets about the Liverpool FC player Mohammed Salah.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that Gary Hyland, 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 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 with a suicide vest 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.

Officers asked him to hand over his mobile phone but he said he didn’t know where it was. The phone was found under a cushion on the couch.

Hyland later said to officers “I know I'll get charged. It was me.” He became obstructive with officers on the way to the police custody suite and was later also charged with obstructing an officer in the execution of his duty. He was also charged with racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment.

He pleaded guilty to both charges at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court today (9 August) and will be sentenced on 30 August.

Sophie Leyland of Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Hyland admitted his guilt at an early stage and in comments to officers on arrest. He admitted what he’d done was stupid. But 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, nor does any person in a civilised society. The tweets were sent in the early hours of the morning and Hyland turned a genuine discussion into a racist rant.

“That is not acceptable and he is now paying the price. Let this be a lesson to everyone that words hurt and society has standards that must be upheld.”

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