DCSIMG

Twitter troll is jailed for abuse

Robert Riley leaving Leeds Magistrates Court

Robert Riley leaving Leeds Magistrates Court

A TWITTER troll who delighted in the fatal stabbing of Wigan-born teacher Ann Maguire has been jailed for eight weeks.

In the wake of Mrs Maguire’s death, Robert Riley bragged to his followers he would not just have killed Mrs Maguire but “all the b*****d teachers” at Corpus Christi School in Leeds.

The jobless 42-year-old from Cwmavon, Port Talbot, also posted a series of racist tweets claiming Nazi death camp Auschwitz was a “health spa” and suggesting that Muslim babies should be drowned.

Despite a Twitter backlash, Riley, who used the handle @johnriley001, initially revelled in his new found notoriety, boasting that he had the “biggest gob this side of the River Severn”. However, the ex-junkie cut a more forlorn figure when appeared before Swansea magistrates.

After pleading guilty to one charge of sending a grossly offensive message via a public communications network, Riley begged for leniency.

But the chairwoman of the bench Georgina Scannell voiced her disgust and said she was left with no choice but to send the defendant straight to jail.

She said: “The offensive messages outraged the public. You had complete disregard for the tragic death of Ann Maguire. Besides this, countless other vile messages were made by you. The bench finds these were racially and religious aggravated. The offences are so serious that only a period of immediate custody can be justified.”

Mrs Maguire was stabbed while teaching a lesson at her school on April 28. Despite widespread shock and sadness at her death, two days later Riley saw fit to make fun of the tragedy. And he remained incredulous following a backlash from other Twitter users, saying: “Of all the sick things I’ve tweeted, starvation, genocide, rape and torture, it’s the teacher from Leeds that outrages everyone the most.”

His solicitor, Giles Hayes, said Riley, a former bus driver who left school aged 15 with no qualifications, lived an insular life.

Mr Hayes said of the tweet about Mrs Maguire: “It’s a senseless act at a very sensitive time.”

 

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