Man sentenced for calling a New Zealand mosque gunman a 'hero' on Facebook

|News, Hate crime

A 47-year-old man has been sentenced today for making racist Facebook comments in the wake of terror attacks in New Zealand in March this year.

Pawel Mirkowski uploaded three racially offensive Facebook posts on Sunday 17 March 2019, two days after 49 people were killed and dozens more were wounded at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Mirkowski said, amongst other offensive things, that all Muslim Pakistanis 'should die' and that the person responsible for the attacks was his ‘hero'.

During the sentencing hearing the Chair of the Bench stated: "There is no place in society for racism."

Victoria Norman, for the CPS, said: "Pawel Mirkowski posted grossly offensive comments on social media at an extremely sensitive time just a few days after innocent people were killed or injured in a terror attack.

"The CPS are committed to treating online hate crime as seriously as offline offences, while taking into account the potential impact on the wider community as well as any known victims."

Notes to editors

  • Victoria Norman is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West
  • Pawel Mirkowski pleaded guilty to send by public communication network an offensive / indecent / obscene / menacing message / matter contrary to section 127(1)(a) and (3) of the Communications Act 2003
  • He was sentenced at Stockport Magistrates' court to four weeks' custody, suspended for 18 months. In addition he was given a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement plus 200 hours' unpaid work, and he was ordered to pay £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £115. For the basic offence (without the racial/religious element) he would have been sentenced to a community order.
  • Racial or religious aggravation makes an offence more serious and the court has a duty to take this into account when it sentences a defendant. The sentences given are enhanced to reflect the racist/religious aggravation. The court has a duty to outline what the sentence would have been had it not been for the racist/religious aggravation and what sentence is due to the specific racist/religious aggravating features.

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