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Man Sentenced To 150 Hours Of Community Service For Posting ‘Offensive’ Tweet About Captain Tom

Man Sentenced To 150 Hours Of Community Service For Posting ‘Offensive’ Tweet About Captain Tom

Joseph Kelly sent out the Tweet just a day after Captain Tom passed away in February 2021

A 36-year-old man from the UK will serve 150 hours of community service after sending a 'grossly offensive' tweet about the late Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Joseph Kelly's remarks came just a day after Captain Tom's death in February 2021, who had become a national hero after walking 100 laps around his garden in an attempt to raise money for the NHS and its associated charities. He went on to be knighted, and received a personal call from the Queen after reaching the age of 100 in April 2020.

Kelly, who is from Glasgow, was sentenced earlier this week, having been found guilty of sending 'grossly offensive' messages about Captain Tom on Twitter.

Captain Sir Tom Moore (

He was facing potential jail time, but the prosecution opted for community service only.

According to The National, his defence rested on the fact that he had been drinking at the time, and that he deleted the tweet just 20 minutes after sending it.

Kelly also argued that he had very few followers at the time, meaning that not many people would have seen it.

“He accepts he was wrong. He did not anticipate what would happen. He took steps almost immediately to delete the tweet but the genie was out of the bottle by then,” said Kelly’s defence agent Tony Callahan, as per The Verge.

“His level of criminality was a drunken post, at a time when he was struggling emotionally, which he regretted and almost instantly removed.”

Kelly was sentenced to 18 months of supervision and 150 hours of unpaid work in the form of a Scottish Community Payback Order on Wednesday.

Sheriff Adrian Cottam, who sentenced Kelly, told the 36-year-old: “My view is, having heard the evidence, that this was a grossly offensive tweet.

"The deterrence is really to show people that despite the steps you took to try and recall matters, as soon as you press the blue button that’s it.

"It’s important for other people to realise how quickly things can get out of control. You are a good example of that, not having many followers.”

Kelly was sentenced under Section 127 of the UK Communications Act, a law which was originally introduced to prosecute offensive language on the telephone.

Since then, Section 127 has been used hundreds of times to prosecute UK citizens for sending 'grossly offensive' messages on social media.

Most prominently, Scottish YouTuber Mark Meechan, better known as Count Dankula, was prosecuted under the act in 2018 for training his dog to raise his paw in the manner of a Nazi salute.

Section 127 is set to be replaced by the UK's Online Safety Bill, although critics question the sweeping powers this will give law enforcement, as well as what constitutes 'offensive' or 'harmful' language online.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Twitter, UK News, Technology, Social Media, Crime