Stacey Paid for His Racially Offensive Comments on Twitter: 56 Days in Prison
On Tuesday Swansea Student Liam Stacey, 21 was sentenced to 56 days in jail because of his law rants against U.K. soccer player Fabrice Muamba who collapsed on the field right in the middle of the live telecast game.
All the “racial” comments tweeted by Stacey were posted under the handle @LiamStacey9. The very first Stacey’s comment “LOL, F___Muamba. He’s dead” caused a furious reaction of other users who considered it to be rather indecent and law rant. Instead of stopping to mock Bolton player Stacey continued to comment using racial language.
Liam was arrested the next morning after the racial comments had appeared on Twitter. He was charged with ‘public order violation’ but released on bail on condition that he would stay away social networks.
When being arrested for the first time Stacey claimed that was not him who was posting comments. He said that his account had been snapped off. Then Liam changed his statement. He said that on the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day he was drinking the whole day, so he was totally drunk when he tweeted his comments. But all Stacey’s attempts to justify himself failed. On Tuesday the court delivered its verdict: 56 days in jail. The BBC even noted that when Stacey heard his sentence he broke into sobs.
Stacey has been also suspended from his University. Moreover, it is said that Swansea University is going to expel Stacey.
Jim Brisbane, Stacey’s Prosecutor said that the cause of bringing a case was “racial language”. Brisbane hopes that Stacey’s case will be a warning to those who thinks that comments left online are outside the law.
Jim also notes that Stacey’s case is not an isolated case. It’s simply the first one that was given publicity. The U.K. police forces are doing their best to bring ‘racially offensive remarks on Twitter’ to naught.
Twitter users’ reaction on Stacey’s sentence is two-way. Someone says that the police made a good job but someone challenges the legality of the sentence.
According to Joseph Harper the problem of ‘online’ racial hatred became urgent because with the implementation of computers in our lives everybody started to let their emotions off publicly.
But Harper also notes that usually people who let their emotions in public are harmless. Such people only talk and do nothing. We should be afraid of those who are at the helm.
After Stacey received his sentence, his account on Twitter was taken down. Liam is not allowed to use social networks at all.