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The on-field collapse of Bolton Wanderers striker Fabrice Muamba saw Twitter respond with an outpouring of support. One tweeter, however, is in hot water after making offensive remarks about the incident.
Liam Stacey, a 21-year-old student could face jail time after Twitter users across the UK reported his tweets to authorities.
Brought before a magistrate’s court earlier today, Stacey pleaded guilty to incitement to racial hatred.
According to prosecutor Lisa Jones, “Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch and was believed to have died. Shortly after, Stacey posted on Twitter: “LOL, Fuck Muamba. He’s dead.”
This prompted widespread criticism from other Twitter users, which in turn saw Stacey post a series of what UK newspaper The Guardian calls “offensive and racist comments”.
After finding out that a number of people – including former England footballer Stan Collymore — were reporting him for his offensive comments, Stacey first claimed his account had been hacked before trying to delete it.
According to The Guardian, the student sent a text to a friend saying “I said something about Muamba that I shouldn’t have and tweeted back to some people who abused me. Getting police on me now, which isn’t good at all.”
He reportedly told police: “I was at the bar when I heard what had happened to Muamba. I don’t know why I posted it. I’m not racist and some of my friends are from different cultural backgrounds.”
Stacey has been granted bail on condition that he stay away from social networks.
Mumaba remains in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit of the heart attack centre at the London Chest Hospital.