A teenager who sent a racially abusive tweet to Marcus Rashford following England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final last year has been jailed.
19-year-old Justin Lee Price, from Worcester, has been jailed for six weeks after pleading guilty yesterday at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court to “one count of sending a grossly offensive message by public communication network” aimed at the Manchester United and England footballer in the aftermath of England’s loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final last July.
Price directed a slur at the 24-year-old striker after he missed a penalty in England’s shoot-out heartache against at Wembley last summer.
The court heard that after being arrested, the teenager initially denied the charges during a police interview, and even changed his name on Twitter to avoid detection – however he later admitted to posting the tweet when he was questioned by officers a second time.
Price’s solicitor said he was “ashamed and embarrassed” by his actions, but that living with a single-parent mother and only working two days a week left him with a lot of time on his hands.
As Price chose to plead guilty, his jail time was subsequently reduced.
The news on Price’s sentencing comes after another man was jailed in September 2021 for posting racist and insulting comments on his Facebook page about Rashford, and his fellow England teammates, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, after they each missed penalties in the shoot-out which led to Italy’s win.
The abuse of the young players sparked widespread condemnation and led to an outpouring of support for the trio, and the news of Price’s sentence has been welcomed by a number of organisations in the football community, including leading equality and inclusion campaign Kick It Out.
“It is unacceptable that footballers continue to endure racist hate and abuse online, as well as in stadiums,” a Kick It Out spokesperson told Sky News.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says it is currently working with the police, clubs, player bodies and organisations, such as the Premier League and the Football Association (FA), to explain what evidence is required to charge racial abusers, and it hopes this will help protect players by ensuring “we have all the evidence we need to build the strongest case possible”.
Mark Johnson, senior Crown prosecutor for CPS West Midlands, said: “Price targeted a footballer based on the colour of his skin and his action was clearly racist and a hate crime.
“Those who racially abuse footballers ruin the game for all, and I hope this case sends out the message that we will not tolerate racism and offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Body found at Bolton restaurant and suspected cannabis farm days after fire
A body has been found at the site of a fire in Bolton, days after a blaze ripped through a restaurant.
It’s believed that the fire started on the first floor of the property, with early inquiries suggesting it may have been used as a cannabis farm.
Human remains were found at the premises on Bolton Road in Farnworth.
A criminal investigation is now underway and Greater Manchester Police are appealing for information and footage relating to the incident.
Emergency services had first been called to the area at around 1pm on Monday 27 November, to reports of a fire.
Earlier today, Saturday 2 December, a body was found during a search of the restaurant building, days after the fire.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Naismith of GMP Major Incident Team said: “Work is ongoing to identify the deceased and we are committed to ensuring the potential family members are fully supported and informed of updates in this investigation.
“The loss of life is a tragedy and I understand the upset this news will cause in the local community. I can assure you on behalf of the investigation team that we are determined to get to the bottom of what has occurred and establish the circumstances surrounding the fire.
“I can confirm this fire is being treated as suspicious and if there is any criminal responsibility, it will be brought to light and dealt with appropriately. We are particularly interested to hear from anyone who knows how this building was being used in the lead up to 27 November 2023.
“I would also like to appeal to anyone with information about the fire itself – including if you have any footage (such as CCTV, mobile or dashcam) – to contact GMP’s Major Incident Team.”
You can make a report by calling 0161 856 1995 quoting log number 1485 of 27/11/2023 or via the reporting function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.