Joshua Cryer, 21, a law student of Jesmond, Newcastle, has been given a two-year community order by the court in Newcastle, England. Joshua is sentenced for sending a series of racial abusive tweets to former footballer Stan Collymore.
Cryer admitted to the court that he had sent racist messages to the former Liverpool, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest star striker. He had previously denied sending messages in January that were “grossly offensive”. Cryer was arrested after the 40-year-old former England striker reported the incident to the Staffordshire police, the defendant was charged under section 127 of the Communications Act with sending grossly offensive messages. As per his sentence Cryer will have to do 240 hours of unpaid work, and also pay £150 in court costs.
Stan Collymore actively campaigns against racism and is a supporter of the charity Depression Alliance. The prosecutor, Veronica Jordan, said Cryer had been “showing off” and had been boasting to his friends that he had “found a new hobby”. She claimed it was not impulsive and that “He has done this up to seven times over a period of days. That does not smack of impulsive behaviour. He was intending to insult and abuse.”
The defendant’s attorney tried to explain to the court that Mr Cryer is not what anyone would call a “dyed-in-the-wool racist” and that the reason he contacted Mr Collymore in the first place was because he is a fan of his.
Passing sentence, Judge Earl said: “I 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.”
Newcastle University said Cryer would be the subject of a disciplinary hearing.