Man jailed for abusive tweets about murdered teacher

Thursday 08 May 2014 23.34
Robert Riley initially revelled in his notoriety
Robert Riley initially revelled in his notoriety

A Twitter troll who delighted in the fatal stabbing of teacher Ann Maguire has been jailed for eight weeks.

In the wake of Mrs Maguire's death, Robert Riley bragged to his followers he would not just have killed Mrs Maguire but "all the bastard teachers" at Corpus Christi School in Leeds.

The jobless 42-year-old from Cwmavon, Port Talbot, also posted a series of racist tweets claiming Nazi death camp Auschwitz was a "health spa" and suggesting that Muslim babies should be drowned.

Despite a Twitter backlash, Riley, who used the handle @johnriley001, initially revelled in his new found notoriety, boasting that he had the "biggest gob this side of the River Severn".

However, Riley cut a more forlorn figure when he appeared before Swansea magistrates today.

After pleading guilty to one charge of sending a grossly offensive message via a public communications network, Riley begged for leniency.

However, chairwoman of the bench Georgina Scannell voiced her disgust and said she was left with no choice but to send the defendant straight to jail.

She said: "The offensive messages outraged the public. You had complete disregard for the tragic death of Ann Maguire.

"Besides this, countless other vile messages were made by you.

"The bench finds these were racially and religious aggravated.

"The offences are so serious that only a period of immediate custody can be justified."