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Man Found Guilty Over 'Grossly Offensive' Captain Sir Tom Moore Tweet

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Man Found Guilty Over 'Grossly Offensive' Captain Sir Tom Moore Tweet

A man has been found guilty under the Communications Act for a 'grossly offensive' tweet he wrote about Captain Sir Tom Moore.

On February 3, 2021, a day after the 100-year-old veteran died, Joseph Kelly took to Twitter to reflect on his death.

The 36-year-old's message has since been branded as having been written 'with only offence in mind', following a trial that took place at Lanark Sheriff Court.

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Sir Captain Thomas Moore stole the hearts of the nation when he walked laps around his garden, raising an incredible total of nearly £33 million for the NHS amid the pandemic.

However, the veteran sadly passed away after he contracted coronavirus.

Just a day after his death, Kelly tweeted about the 100-year-old Captain. The post read, 'The only good Brit soldier is a deed one, burn auld fella buuuuurn,' The Scotsman reports.

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At the trial, Sheriff Adrian Cottam called the social media post a 'gratuitous insult'.

He told the court: 'This is a man who had become known as a national hero, who stood for the resilience of the people of a country struggling with a pandemic and the services trying to protect them.

'His statute and the view of society towards him must be looked at in that light and therefore any comment likewise.

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'What the accused chose to write, when and how it was said, can only be regarded as grossly offensive.'

As prosecutor Liam Haggert spoke about the veteran, Kelly reportedly shook his head, which led to Cottam threatening to place him into cells.

However, it was argued by Kelly's defence, Cameron Smith, that while the tweet was 'unpleasant' and 'unsavoury', it could not be classified as 'grossly offensive'.

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Smith tried to appeal that the tweet had not been in reference to race, religion, gender, or about a specific protected characteristic, and did not incite any form of violence.

Kelly's neighbour, Luzier Jeffery said she was 'shocked' at the message.

'First of all, the gentleman in question had done so much to raise awareness and funds for the NHS in England and became a bit of a national hero at the time, but then the fact it referred to British soldiers as well. If you have had anybody who fought for your country, it just left a bad taste,' she stated.

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Janet Hunter Jess, a 72-year-old who had family who served in the armed forces, told the court how much Kelly's words 'hurt' her.

'To see someone wishing British soldiers dead, it still hurts me. It still hurts me that anybody would disrespect someone that had given their live for the country,' she explained.

Under the Communications Act it was ruled that Kelly had shared a social media post which was 'grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, and that did utter offensive remarks about Captain Sir Tom Moore, now deceased'.

The 36-year-old has been released on bail, and is set to return for sentencing in March.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Twitter, Scotland

Poppy Bilderbeck

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