UK student jailed for 'racist' Twitter posts about footballer Fabrice Muamba

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The incident started after Fabrice Muamba (pictured) collapsed during a football match.
Image: Struway.

A student who mocked Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba on Twitter has been sent to prison for his 'racist' comments. Police forces around the UK received complaints about Liam Stacey who made the remarks after Muamba collapsed on the pitch during a match.

Stacey, 21, admitted an offence of inciting racial hatred. He was today given a 56-day sentence at Swansea Magistrates' Court. He wept as he was handcuffed and led away. His defence noted he admitted his guilt as soon as police in Swansea arrested him, that he was drunk at the time, and claimed he was not a racist and had friends from ethnic minorities.

He had, however, claimed initially his Twitter account had been hacked and tried to delete it when he learned police had been summoned. Former England international player Stan Collymore was among those to contact police.

Shortly after Muamba collapsed Stacey posted "LOL, Fuck Muamba. He's dead." When other users responded, he called them "wogs", telling one "go pick some cotton". Some sexual comments were also made. The prosecution had hoped to see the case transferred to a more senior court for a sentence longer than the six-month maximum the magistrates' court could impose.

Stacey is suspended from Swansea University in Wales, where he is a biology student. His lawyer had asked for a non-custodial sentence so he could complete the course, saying Stacey was doing well. However, a campaign among other students is calling for him to be expelled from university entirely.

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