Joshua Cryer, who was 21 at the time, was convicted at Newcastle Magistrates‚Äô Court in March 2012 under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 for sending grossly offensive messages.
Of a racist nature, the messages were intended to deliberately goad football Stan Collymore. This was a rare use of the Communications Act at the time, and his sentence for his premeditated attacks attracted a two-year community order and ¬£150. This contrasts with Liam Stacey who was sentenced to jail for 56 days in the same month.
Stacey‚Äôs remorse contrasted with that of Cryer, whom prosecutor, Veronica Jordan said was found to be boasting to friends who said he was ‚Äúshowing off‚ÄĚ about his actions and said he had ‚Äúfound a new hobby.‚ÄĚ
The Judge who passed the sentence against Cryer said, ‚ÄúI don’t doubt you are not an inherently racist person, but you did act in an intentionally racist way.
“I find it difficult to fathom what on Earth you thought you were doing. It was stupid and you ought to have known better.”
Chief Crown Prosecutor Wendy Williams said: “The CPS understands the serious nature of racist crime and the real and lasting effects it can have, not just on individuals and their families, but also upon communities and society as a whole.”
“In this case, Cryer repeatedly abused his victim over a number of days, boasting to others beforehand about what he intended to do.”
The university at which Cryer was studying, Newcastle University,¬†even with the intentional bad faith by Cryer, said it would simply be making him the subject of a ‚Äú disciplinary hearing.‚ÄĚ This contrasted with Stacey, whose university immediately suspended him, leaving his career ambitions of becoming a forensic scientist ‚Äúshattered because of his drunken actions‚ÄĚ as commentator Rob Osborne (Twitter: @robosborneitv) put it.