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Morecambe man sentenced for racially abusing a woman over social media

|News, Hate crime

A man from Morecambe admitted threatening and racially abusing a woman through social media over a five-month period.

John Cowen, 29, posted numerous threatening and racist comments on social media, directed at a woman and her company.

The posts caused fear and outrage and were totally unprovoked by the woman Cowen targeted.

When questioned by police, Cowen admitted he had sent the posts but claimed he had done it as a joke and was defending his work and the work of social media friends.

He said he felt he had to send extreme messages for shock value so he would be listened to.

Cowen admitted that the posts were unacceptable and went on to plead guilty at court.

He was sentenced on 2 November 2023 at Preston Magistrates Court to a 12-month community order with 30 rehabilitation days and 150 hours of unpaid work, which included an uplift for the racial element of the offence.

Following an application from the CPS, an indefinite restraining order was also put in place to protect the victim and her company in the future.

Elliott Taylforth, District Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “Cowen’s repeated threats and racial abuse was completely unacceptable.  

“I hope this sentence will serve as a reminder that perpetrators of racial abuse cannot hide behind their computer screens. 

“Hate crimes have a corrosive effect on society and we will always prosecute where there is sufficient evidence to do so.”

Notes to editors

  • John Cowen form Morecambe was born on 6 April 1994

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