Wales politics

Man admits sending tweet about shooting Leanne Wood

Leanne Wood Image copyright Getty Images

A 27-year-old man from Port Talbot has admitted sending a tweet about shooting Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood.

Ross Hookings tweeted: "Shame someone didn't shoot Leanne Wood though" on 22 June, Swansea Magistrates' Court heard.

The prosecution said it worried her as it was sent less than two weeks after the shooting of Labour MP Jo Cox.

Hookings pleaded guilty to the charge under the Malicious Communications Act and was given a 12-month community order.

The court heard Ms Wood saw the message while at home watching television.

A probation report said Hookings tweeted the message in response to comments Ms Wood made about Port Talbot steelworks, which he was angry about.

Abul Hussain, prosecuting, said he could not say whether the tweet was sent directly to Ms Wood but it was in the public domain.

Matthew Murphy, defending, said Hookings did not tweet Ms Wood directly using her Twitter handle.

Image copyright Brendan Cox
Image caption Labour MP Jo Cox died after being attacked in her constituency in Birstall, West Yorkshire

He told the court it was never Hookings' intention for Ms Wood to see the tweet but accepted his followers could have seen it.

District Judge Neale Thomas said Hookings had "misused the internet" and sent "cowardly abuse".

He called his actions "wreckless" and "offensive", adding although the "defendant did not anticipate the consequences of his actions, he should have known better given his age".

District Judge Thomas also said the defendant had offered an "open apology to [Ms Wood] - ironically not behind technology".

Hookings was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

In July, a man from Swansea was jailed for 12 weeks after posting offensive comments to Ms Wood on Twitter which referred to rape.

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