Fabrice Muamba: Jailed Twitter user Liam Stacey's apologises for racist remarks
Published: 22nd May 2012 07:18:57
A student jailed after making racist remarks on Twitter about footballer Fabrice Muamba has apologised and says he has paid a huge price.
Liam Stacey told BBC Wales' Week in Week Out programme about the comments he made and how they turned him into a national hate-figure.
Stacey, from Pontypridd, was served a 56-day prison term for a racially aggravated public order offence.
He said his actions were "just drunken stupidity".
He told the programme, which is broadcast on Tuesday on BBC One Wales, he did not know why he made the remarks on Twitter, adding that it was "stupid, massive, massive mistake and I've paid a big price for it".
"What I struggle to get my head around was the week or two before I was just a normal kid getting on with my work in university, getting on with life, playing rugby with all my mates, then a week or two later I was just going to prison, everything had been turned upside down," he said.
The programme also went undercover to expose how 'internet trolls' - people who carry out anonymous online hate campaigns - target the most vulnerable.
It heard from the mothers of Welsh murder victims Rebecca Aylward and Kirsty Wilkinson whose online memorial sites were attacked by trolls.
Kirsty's mother Catherine Broomfield said: "It's just beyond belief, it just hurts. [I've] already got a big hole in my heart as it is and these people just make the hole deeper."
One 'troll' told the programme attacking others made him feel better.
Week In Week Out also enlisted the help of an unnamed internet expert to set a trap for the 'trolls', and who described them as a "nasty pieces of work", who go out of their way to shock, offend and upset vulnerable people.
Nobody has been prosecuted for making comments about Rebecca Aylward or Kirsty Wilkinson.
However, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service for Wales said reported online crimes are treated exactly the same as offences committed "in the real world".
Jim Brisbane, chief prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wales, said the vast majority of the population enjoyed social media and used it responsibly.
He added: "But there's now an opportunity to make it clear for those who overstep the mark and abuse the privilege of being able to communicate in such a wide way, that the law that applies to other settings and other forms of communication can apply equally to what they're doing, and if that is not recognised then there may be consequences."
Superintendent Joe Ruddy from South Wales Police led the investigation into Stacey's case.
He said: "We in South Wales Police have seen over 100% increase in the number of social networking type occurrences in the last two years and that's probably just tip of the iceberg in what's going on out there."
While Fabrice Muamba continues to recover, Stacey's future remains uncertain.
Swansea University suspended him pending the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings, and is still considering whether to allow him to finish his degree course there.
Week In Week Out is on BBC One Wales on Tuesday at 22:35 BST.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Fabrice Muamba: Jailed Twitter user Liam Stacey's apologises for racist remarks. [Online] (Updated 22 May 2012)
Available at: http://www.glasgowwired.co.uk/news.php/1430051-Fabrice-Muamba-Jailed-Twitter-user-Liam-Staceys-apologises-for-racist-remarks [Accessed 10th May 2013]
At 15:09:33 in OtherA 19-year-old taxi passenger who was critically injured in a crash in Glasgow involving a lorry, has died in hospital....
At 14:09:31 in OtherA woman who survived a house fire which killed her husband and two children has told a court she wished she had never gone to sleep on the n...
At 13:53:20 in OtherA festival which aims to break down barriers between different musical genres opens in Glasgow this weekend....
At 13:08:30 in OtherTwo more people have been arrested over unrest at an Under-17 Youth Cup Final between Celtic and Rangers in Glasgow....
At 11:40:33 in OtherThe first ever public screening of the BBC series Your Cheatin' Heart is to open Scotland's newest film festival....
At 10:31:58 in OtherPassenger numbers at Glasgow Prestwick Airport should continue to rise this summer after a solid start to the year, according to its operato...
At 07:35:36 in OtherCommemorations of the 70th anniversary of the climax of the Battle of the Atlantic have brought back vivid memories for a Northern Ireland w...
At 00:22:28 in OtherCampaigners have called for a public statue of Mary, Queen of Scots to be erected in Scotland....
At 22:30:29 in OtherDetectives are hunting for two men who robbed a woman of at least £10,000 in a Falkirk car park....
At 17:28:50 in OtherA Celtic fan who subjected a police officer to sectarian abuse has been given a community payback order and told to carry out 80 hours unpai...
News In Other Categories
A two-year degree in heavy metal music has been branded an "easy option" by education campaigners....
Men armed with Kalashnikov rifles have massacred 26 elephants in the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park in the Central African Republic, say conserv...
A doctor who was working at Aberystwyth's Bronglais hospital could be struck off after sending flirtatious texts messages to a female p...
A voluntary hygiene rating scheme for tattoo studios in Wales, the first of its kind in the UK, is set to be introduced next year....
The jury in the Eddy Shah rape trial at the Old Bailey has been discharged....
Dirty Dancing is to replace Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! after it closes at the Piccadilly Theatre in London's West End....