Liam Stacey, a 21-year-old Welshman and student at Swansea University was sentenced to 56 days in jail today for posting racial insensitive messages on his twitter account in the wake of Fabrice Muamba's collapse during an FA cup game earlier this month.
Muamba, a 23-year-old player for Bolton, went into cardiac arrest on the field during a FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur eleven days ago.
At the sentencing, District Judge John Charles said, In my view there is no alternative to an immediate prison sentence.
Stacey tweeted LOL [expletive] Muamba he's dead !!! #Haha, and he followed that with obscenities and racial slurs at anyone who called him out on his behavior on Twitter.
He initially claimed that the account had been hacked and then later deleted the entire account in an attempt to avoid prosecution.
He also told the court that alcohol had been a factor and that he had been drinking since lunchtime when he began his rant.
The prosecutor in the case said that he hoped that the severe penalty would serve as a deterrent in the future.
Racist language is inappropriate in any setting and through any media. We hope this case will serve as a warning to anyone who may think that comments made online are somehow beyond the law, said Jim Brisbane, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Wales.
Stacey has also been suspended from Swansea University, pending the outcome of their investigation.
Muamba himself is still in intensive care but he is responsive to questions, watching television, eating on his own and even managed to get out of bed for the first time yesterday.