In addition to the kitten videos, the Twitter has a collection of memes of respect. But the jokes are not always polite and have a happy ending: a UK user was sentenced to 150 hours of community service for an offensive joke on the social network. The sentence was handed down this week after Joseph Kelly made a pun on the death of a British army officer.
The infamous prank took place in February of last year. In the tweet, Kelly decided to make a joke of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who was known for doing a hundred laps in the yard on his 100th birthday. In doing so, the official raised over £32 million for the NHS, the UK’s public healthcare system, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evidently, the feat caught the attention of the entire kingdom. Even Queen Elizabeth was moved by the feat and bestowed a knighthood on the captain in recognition of his attitude. But the 100-year-old sadly passed away in February 2021, prompting a Twitter joke from 36-year-old Scotsman Joseph Kelly:
“The only good Brit soldier is a deed one, burn auld fella buuuuurn”, afirmou.
“The only good British soldier is an overseer, burn old, wheeeeeeeeee”.
Twitter post was “grossly offensive”
The tweet was removed twenty minutes after posting. But the damage was already done: in the same month, Kelly nearly ended up in prison for the “grossly offensive” publication. Since then, the Scotsman faced a long trial, until he was convicted this Wednesday (30), according to the local newspaper. The National.
The sentence came from Sheriff Adrian Cottam. The newspaper explains that Kelly has found an alternative to avoid arrest: the Scotsman will have to do 150 hours of community work and face 18 months of supervision as punishment. For Cottam, punishment should act as a deterrent so that others do not commit the same act:
“My opinion is that, after hearing the evidence, this was a grossly offensive tweet,” said Adrian Cottam. “Deterrence is really to show people that despite the steps you’ve taken to try to regain consciousness, as soon as you press the blue button [para publicar o tweet], was published. It’s important for other people to realize how quickly things can get out of hand. You are a good example of that, even though you don’t have a lot of followers.”
Defense explains that the author of the tweet was drunk
Obviously, the author of the tweet defended himself before the court. According to lawyer Tony Callahan, Scotsman Joseph Kelly did not have many followers at the time and had no idea that the publication would have the reach it had. The defense also argued that Kelly was drinking at the time:
“He accepts that he was wrong. He didn’t foresee what would happen. He took action almost immediately to delete the tweet, but the genie was out of the bottle by then,” he stated. “His criminality level of his was a drunk post, at a time when he was struggling emotionally, which he regretted and removed almost instantly.”
The justification, however, was not enough to overturn the conviction entirely. The Scottish newspaper also points out that, after the conviction, Sheriff Cottam recalled that Captain Tom Moore became a national hero for defending the resilience of the people fighting the pandemic and the services that tried to protect them:
“His stature and society’s view of him must be seen in that light and so should any comment in the same way,” he concluded. “What the accused chose to write, when and how it was said, can only be considered grossly offensive.”
With information: The Verge