UK & World News

  • 8 May 2014, 20:20

Ann Maguire Stabbing: Twitter Troll Jailed

A man who admitted posting offensive messages on Twitter about stabbed teacher Ann Maguire has been jailed for eight weeks.

Robert Riley, 42, was sentenced at Swansea Magistrates' Court over the remarks he made on the microblogging site.

Among his tweets was one that named the boy who has been charged with Mrs Maguire's murder.

The messages also celebrated the killing and expressed general hatred against teachers as a whole.

Mrs Maguire, 61, was stabbed to death at Corpus Christi School in Leeds last week.

The court heard Riley had just over 500 followers on Twitter and a habit of sending vile and offensive tweets.

Many were racist comments directed at various ethnic communities and others were of a religious content showing hatred towards Jews and Muslims.

As the exact contents of his posts were read out to the court, Riley sat with his head in his hands and became emotional.

His defence team said he led an "isolated life" and had "deep regret for the anguish inflicted on Mrs Maguire's family".

After pleading guilty to one charge of sending a grossly offensive message via a public communications network, unemployed Riley, from Port Talbot, begged for leniency.

However, chairwoman of the bench Georgina Scannell voiced her disgust and said she was left with no choice but to send the defendant to jail.

She said: "The offensive messages outraged the public. You had complete disregard for the tragic death of Ann Maguire.

"Besides this, countless other vile messages were made by you.

"The bench finds these were racially and religious aggravated. The offences are so serious that only a period of immediate custody can be justified."

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