BNP member Michael Coleman spared jail term

Michael Coleman Michael Coleman lost his Meir North seat on Stoke-on-Trent City Council in elections in May 2011

A British National Party member and former Stoke-on-Trent councillor has received a suspended jail sentence for using racist language online.

Michael Coleman, 45, of Caverswall Road, Weston Coyney, had denied two counts of racially aggravated harassment.

The charges related to racist language used in two articles on his website between 8 August 2011 and 8 March 2012.

Coleman was given eight months suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

Speaking after the sentencing at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, Coleman said he would continue to speak out regardless of any consequences from the law.

He said: "Allegedly I've broken the law but it won't stop me speaking out and I've no doubt I'll go to prison at some point in the future.

"I had no idea my comments would ever result in this, my freedom's been taken away."

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