UK court sentences man to 4 years in jail for posting anti-Muslim content online

Published September 24, 2019
Jay Davison denies charges, says posts were done in "drunken stupidity". — Photo courtesy, BBC
Jay Davison denies charges, says posts were done in "drunken stupidity". — Photo courtesy, BBC

A court in United Kingdom has sentenced a man to four years in jail for sharing photos of himself holding a shotgun and propagating anti-Muslim messages online, BBC reported.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jay Davison of Cardiff posted the "extremely offensive" messages in August 2018, a Cardiff Crown Court was told on Monday. He had urged people to "stand up" in posts on Instagram and Whatsapp.

A jury found him guilty of stirring up religious hatred and two counts of stirring up racial hatred. However, the same defendant was cleared of two further counts of stirring up religious hatred in a trial last month.

Sentencing Davison, Judge Tracey-Lloyd Clarke said, "The manner and way you behaved reveals something of your inner thoughts and for you then to take a photo of yourself holding a firearm makes this a matter so serious only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate."

Jenny Hopkins, from the Crown Prosecution Service, added: "This is a warning to people that posting material online can have damaging consequences for them.

During trial, prosecutor Jennifer Josephs said that the posts were "extremely offensive".

"The images showed him bare chested holding a shotgun. He then left comments below those images. He was using language that you normally associate with white supremacists."

Davison denied the charges during trial and said the photos were taken at a friend's house after an evening of drinking, that he had no racist views and did not intend to incite racial hatred.

"It was terrible judgement on my behalf and I should not have posted it," he said. "It was drunken stupidity. When I am sober I am a completely different person."

Hashim Salman, the defending lawyer, said, "Although not immediately removed, the time it took for Davison himself to reach for the sense and for those senses to prevail and remove the material was short. ... He is disgusted and embarrassed with himself."

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