Racial abuse tweeter awaits verdict on appeal over jail
A SWANSEA student who has been jailed for mocking footballer Fabrice Muamba on Twitter after a near fatal heart attack was learning today if he might be released.
A handcuffed Liam Stacey, 21, was taken away in tears on Tuesday after being jailed for 56 days for admitting racially aggravated public order.
A High Court judge in Swansea Crown Court was today due to hear an appeal against his sentence which, if successful, could win his immediate release.
The Swansea University biology undergraduate triggered revulsion when he posted offensive comments surrounding Muamba's medical emergency.
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His tweets came quickly after the soccer star's collapse and at a time when his plight was attracting a wave of sympathy around the world.
Soccer fans watched in horror when the Bolton midfielder collapsed during an FA Cup tie from a heart attack on March 17.
Millions witnessed the incident as the clash against Tottenham Hotspur was screened live on television.
While his tragic plight touched hearts around the world, a drunken Stacey went on line to mock.
Revulsion of his actions was immediate but a series of highly critical replies only pushed Stacey into an online racist torrent.
On Tuesday he was led away sobbing from Swansea Magistrates' Court after breaking down when his sentence was handed down. Support for Stacey's jail sentence was widespread on the day it was handed down, and widely debated on Twitter.
But a significant minority criticised his punishment and claimed it was politically motivated to make an example of him.
His legal team was today due to launch an appeal against his sentence at Swansea Crown Court.
The hearing, which was expected to last at least one hour, was due to go before High Court judge Mr Justice Wyn Williams.