Student Liam Stacey who took to Twitter to mock footballer Fabrice Mumba after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a match has been jailed for 56 days for inciting racial hatred.
Police were flooded with complaints as members of the public reported comments made by Stacey (21) after midfielder Muamba (23), who plays for the Bolton Wanderers, collapsed on the pitch during an FA Cup tie on 17 March.
Officers quickly tracked down the Swansea University biology undergraduate and placed him under arrest.
Stacey appeared in Swansea Magistrates’ Court last week, where he admitted inciting racial hatred. Today, Stacey was back in the same court, and has been sentenced to 56 days in jail.
Stacey’s first tweet following Muamba’s collapse began with, “LOL (laugh out loud). **** Muamba. He’s dead!!!” Fellow Twitter users responded, holding Stacey accountable for his remarks, but that elicited a string of more offensive comments from Stacey directed at his critics.
Today on Twitter, news of Stacey’s jail term is the subject of tweets.
Lord Alan Sugar, businessman and star of BBC reality show The Apprentice, even took to the microblogging site, tweeting, “Liam Stacey jailed for 56 days for comments made on Twitter about Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba.BLOODY GOOD JOB. Be warned idiots!”
Other Twitter users aren’t quite so pleased about Stacey being jailed.
For example, Peter Knox tweeted, “I don’t care what Liam Stacey said no one should be getting jailed for tweeting anything,”
Muamba remains in intensive care in hospital in serious but stable condition. Doctors have described his recovery as “miraculous”.