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March 27, 2012

UK student jailed for \’racist\’ Twitter posts about footballer Fabrice Muamba

UK student jailed for ‘racist’ Twitter posts about footballer Fabrice Muamba

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The incident started after Fabrice Muamba (pictured) collapsed during a football match.
Image: Struway.

A student who mocked Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba on Twitter has been sent to prison for his ‘racist’ comments. Police forces around the UK received complaints about Liam Stacey who made the remarks after Muamba collapsed on the pitch during a match.

Stacey, 21, admitted an offence of inciting racial hatred. He was today given a 56-day sentence at Swansea Magistrates’ Court. He wept as he was handcuffed and led away. His defence noted he admitted his guilt as soon as police in Swansea arrested him, that he was drunk at the time, and claimed he was not a racist and had friends from ethnic minorities.

He had, however, claimed initially his Twitter account had been hacked and tried to delete it when he learned police had been summoned. Former England international player Stan Collymore was among those to contact police.

Shortly after Muamba collapsed Stacey posted “LOL, Fuck Muamba. He’s dead.” When other users responded, he called them “wogs”, telling one “go pick some cotton”. Some sexual comments were also made. The prosecution had hoped to see the case transferred to a more senior court for a sentence longer than the six-month maximum the magistrates’ court could impose.

Stacey is suspended from Swansea University in Wales, where he is a biology student. His lawyer had asked for a non-custodial sentence so he could complete the course, saying Stacey was doing well. However, a campaign among other students is calling for him to be expelled from university entirely.



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February 27, 2010

Inquest held after air rifle shot kills 10-year-old boy in Swansea, Wales

Inquest held after air rifle shot kills 10-year-old boy in Swansea, Wales

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cymru / Wales
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An inquest was held this week after a 10-year-old boy died after being shot with an air rifle in Swansea, Wales. On September 27, 2009, Rhys Johnson and his friend, aged 12, took, without permission, an air gun which belonged to Rhys’ father. The two boys played with it near to the location of the Johnson house in the district of Llansamlet. They were unsupervised when they were shooting the gun at a bucket that was hanging in a tree and a tin can that was placed on a box.

The friend, who has remained anonymous, shot Rhys Johnson in the heart with the .22 caliber Webley Vulcan air gun at close range. Johnson died in a hospital at 0211 BST the next day from said wound. Philip Rogers, a coroner from Swansea, recorded the verdict as an accidental death. He was told that the friend had no intention of shooting Johnson. Therefore, no legal action has been taken against Johnson’s friend accordingly.

Detective Sergeant Nigel Morgan of South Wales Police said that “Rhys was standing to his left calling [his friend] and laughing. The boy held the rifle at the butt in his right arm with his finger on the trigger. As he turned he felt the gun to be heavy. As it fell away he pulled it towards him and accidentally fired the trigger. Rhys was holding himself to the chest—he thought he was joking then he thought he’s shot Rhys in the hand. He saw no blood and Rhys ran to the house.” The detective stated that the friend “was crying and apologizing for what happened.”

Rhys Johnson’s father, David, age 36, an engineer in a workshop and the owner of the air rifle testified, “I would allow him to use it if he was with me when I was up the garden or we were spending time together. Rhys would have shown interest in it from when he was about eight-years-old.” The coroner urged “anyone with children to try and ensure that such weapons are not used without parental supervision,” going on to say that he was “sure Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were not aware the children were using the weapon unsupervised.”


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May 27, 2009

Workers at Swansea auto parts plant vote to strike

Workers at Swansea auto parts plant vote to strike

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cymru / Wales
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The Linamar plant in Swansea

Workers at the Linamar automobile parts factory in Swansea, Wales voted by a wide margin today to strike, after an dispute over the firing of one of the worker’s union organisers remained unresolved.

An 88% turnout resulted in a vote of 139 in favor of striking to 19 against.

Canada-based Linamar took over the plant from Visteon in July 2008. Shortly after the takeover, Linamar offered 208 of the plant’s 360 workers voluntary redundancy, hoping to transfer work to Mexico; 140 accepted. Linamar claims to have no long-term plans to close the plant. On April 28, however, Linamar fired political activist and union convener Rob Williams. Upon Williams’ firing, he refused to leave the Visteon plant. The police escorted him from the building as the day shift workers at the plant staged a spontaneous walkout. Williams was temporarily reinstated after emergency negotiations between Unite and Visteon management, but his dismissal was made permanent a week later.

Rob Williams

Unite, Williams’s trade union, describe Williams’s firing as an “illegal” “attack on the union” and has brought the matter to the attention of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Williams himself told left-wing newspaper Socialist Worker: “They have sacked me because they want to weaken the union and intimidate the shop floor.”

Workers at the plant also say Linamar is breaking a promise made to the union when the plant was taken over to keep Visteon’s terms and conditions, particularly to establish a final pension scheme for workers who were part of the company before its 2000 spin-off from Ford.

Linamar has not given comment to the press on the dispute as of this writing.

A crowd rallies in support of Rob Williams and Unite at Linamar

Rallies in support of Williams, who is also running for European Parliament on the No2EU ticket, and of the union have drawn sizeable crowds, with about 90 at the most recent rally include three Members of the Welsh Assembly representing the ruling coalition of the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru as well as the Liberal Democrats, on May 17 outside the Visteon plant in Swansea.

Linamar Swansea has close ties with Visteon factories in Enfield, Belfast and Basildon. Workers at those three factories recently won a victory against Visteon by occupying their plants and locking management out when redundancies were announced in April.



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August 3, 2008

British man dies five days after wife in honeymoon shooting

British man dies five days after wife in honeymoon shooting

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Antigua and Barbuda
Other stories from Antigua and Barbuda
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  • 29 December 2007: World Trade Organization allows Antigua to ignore US$21 million of US copyright per year
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Benjamin Mullany, the British man who was shot along with his wife while on holiday in Antigua has died. He and his wife, Catherine had been on the last day of their honeymoon when both were shot during what seems to be a botched robbery on July 29.

Catherine died instantly while Ben fell into a coma. Doctors were unaware if he knew that his wife did not survive the attack. Ben was flown back to Britain on August 2 after a 22 hour operation to try and save his life. He died at Morriston Hospital, in Swansea, Wales where he remained unresponsive.

The couple married on July 12 and later flew out to the holiday island. With the death of both Catherine and Ben the murder figures for Antigua have been placed into double figures. Prime minister Baldwin Spencer has asked for Britain’s help during the investigation. The suspects are still at large.



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