Freedom of expression in Scotland is not for the faint hearted.
I found this story in several UK newspapers and wire services, today:
“A man who used a social networking website to post sectarian comments about Catholics and Celtic supporters has been jailed for eight months.”
What was his offence?
“He admitted writing religiously and racially motivated comments between February 28 and March 8 this year”.
Sentencing him, Sheriff Bill Totten said the courts had to send “a clear message to deter others who might be tempted to behave in this way”.
One of the comments, posted a day before a Celtic v Rangers game on March 2 this year, read:
“Hope they all die. Simple. Catholic scumbags ha ha.”
Two days after the match, he wrote:
“Proud to hate Fenian tattie farmers.”
“They’re all ploughing the fields the dirty scumbags.”
He also posted abuse directed at the Pope.
Well, apart from trying to imagine what could he have written about the Pope that could possibly have been abusive, he made no personal attack on individuals .
He was referring to the supporters of a Football Club!
It was only because he said sorry that he didn’t get 12 months in jail.
What I don’t understand is how does such infantile rubbish justify jail time?
His lawyer, Iain McLennan, told the sheriff that Birrell had accepted what he had done but struggles to understand the severity of his actions.
He said: “He finds it difficult just to comprehend how serious what he did was.”
And so do I!!
Andyboy – Telling it as it is
- Anti-Celtic comments lead to jail for Glasgow man (guardian.co.uk)
- Man jailed for racist internet post (independent.co.uk)
- Internet bigot facing jail term (bbc.co.uk)
- Prison term for Facebook bigot (bbc.co.uk)