England fan jailed over racist rant following Euro 2020 final defeat 2 months ago

England fan jailed over racist rant following Euro 2020 final defeat

He has been sentenced to 10 weeks in prison

A football fan has been jailed after live-streaming himself on Facebook racially abusing three England players after the Three Lions' Euro 2020 final defeat.

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The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Jonathon Best, 52, posted a video of himself ranting about three Black players, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford, after the trio missed their penalties in the shootout against Italy.

On Tuesday (2 November), Best was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison at Willesden Magistrates' Court, after previously pleading guilty to sending by public communication network a grossly offensive or indecent or obscene or menacing message or matter.

The CPS stated that the court heard Best - a forklift driver of Feltham, west London - had been reported to both Facebook and the police by a colleague, with Best refusing to take the 18-second clip down.

The clip was taken down by Facebook three days after it was originally posted.

Elaine Cousins, from the CPS, said: "While the majority of the nation took great pride in the Three Lions reaching their first international final in more than 50 years, Jonathon Best took to Facebook to livestream a barrage of racist abuse at the three players who missed penalties during the game.

"He used social media to publicly vilify these three young men who tried to score for England. When approached by a Facebook friend asking him to remove the grossly offensive content, Best replied: 'It's my profile, I can do what I want.'

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"There is absolutely no room in the game, nor elsewhere, for racism. The CPS is committed to bringing perpetrators of hate crime to justice where there is the evidence to do so."

She added: "I would like to thank the individual who reported this appalling hate crime and I hope this prosecution goes some way in educating and deterring people from posting hate on social media."

The CPS have also announced that it is currently working with the police, player bodies and organisations to explain what sort of evidence is needed to pass its legal tests to authorise charges in hate crime cases.

"Hate crimes such as these have a massive impact on players and their mental health," said Elizabeth Jenkins of the CPS.

"The CPS takes this kind of offending very seriously and this case shows that where offensive content is reported to the police we can successfully bring offenders to justice."

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