A man who livestreamed himself on Facebook racially abusing three England football players after the Euro 2020 final has now been jailed
Jonathon Best, aged 52, posted a rant about Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who had missed penalties in the Euro 2020 shootout against Italy which England lost, and has now been jailed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.
On Tuesday Mr Best was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison at Willesden magistrates court. He had before pleaded guilty to sending a grossly offensive or indecent or obscene or menacing message or matter by public communication network.
This comes after the England football team’s efforts and attitude have been hailed nationally but marred by racist abuse resulting in four arrests. Police that have been investigating the online racist abuse of several black England players after the Euro 2020 final have revealed that they have made four arrests so far.
The CPS said that the court heard Best, who was a forklift driver from Feltham, in west London, was caught out when a colleague and Facebook friend had reported the 18-second clip to Facebook, in addition as to the police after he had refused to take the video down. Facebook took the clip down three days after.
Elaine Cousins, from the CPS, said: “Jonathon Best took to Facebook to livestream a barrage of racist abuse at the three players who missed penalties during the game. He used social media to publicly vilify these three young men who tried to score for England. When approached by a Facebook friend asking him to remove the grossly offensive content, Best replied: ‘It’s my profile, I can do what I want.’
“There is absolutely no room in the game, nor in other places, for racism. The CPS is committed to bringing perpetrators of hate crime to justice where there is the evidence to do so.”
This comes after an independent review set to probe the “disgraceful scenes” that marred England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy has been commissioned by the nation’s Football Association. Fans were seen fighting with stewards and police, who later released CCTV images of some of those they want to question.
She additional: “I would like to thank the individual who reported this appalling hate crime and I hope this prosecution goes some way in educating and deterring people from posting hate on social media.”
After the case the CPS announced that it was working with the police, player bodies and organisations to explain what evidence is required to pass its legal tests in order to authorise charges in hate crime situations.
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