Liverpool

Mo Salah: Gary Hyland sentenced for racist tweets

Gary Hyland and Mo Salah Image copyright BBC/EPA
Image caption Gary Hyland was given a suspended sentence for posting offensive tweets about Mo Salah

A football fan has been ordered to complete a course "promoting human dignity" after he sent an altered photograph of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah with a superimposed suicide vest.

Gary Hyland published a series of racist posts about the Egyptian forward on Twitter on 6 August.

The 32-year-old was handed a six-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months at Liverpool Magistrates' Court.

Hyland must complete 200 hours of unpaid work as well as the course.

The prosecution said Hyland targeted the striker's Muslim faith and became increasingly abusive.

'Fuel racial hatred'

During an online chat with Liverpool fans, Hyland joked about the Egyptian striker praying to Mecca at half-time and sent altered images of the whole team praying to Allah.

A supporter asked him: "What's the issue with Muslims lad? Can you even articulate it?"

Hyland then sent a photograph of Salah with a suicide vest superimposed on the top part of the player's body as well as making racist remarks about Salah and sending further images that poked fun at people praying to Allah.

The tweets were reported to Merseyside Police who arrested the Everton fan at his home.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The tweets about Mo Salah were reported to Merseyside Police

When asked to hand over his phone Hyland claimed it was lost, but officers found it under a cushion. He also became obstructive while he was being taken into custody.

Hyland, from Bootle, Merseyside, admitted racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment and obstructing a constable in the execution of their duty.

"These sorts of remarks fuel racial hatred and are extremely offensive to people from the race or religion that they are aimed at," said Angela Conlan, of from the Crown Prosecution Service,

"Mohamed Salah does not deserve to be the object of abuse and neither does any person in a civilised society."

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