Ann Maguire stabbing: Man banned from Twitter for abusive messages

Robert Riley, 42, appeared in court after police were alerted to his posts

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The Independent Online

A man who posted abusive Twitter messages about the death of Ann Maguire has been banned from using social networking sites.

Robert Riley, of Port Talbot in south Wales, admitted sending a message of a grossly offensive, abusive or malicious character at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The 42-year-old was given bail on the condition that he does not use social networking sites and the internet generally between now and his next court appearance on Thursday.

The posts were not read out but the bench heard that some of them related to the stabbing of Mrs Maguire, 61, at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds.

Riley’s case was transferred to Swansea Magistrates’ Court for sentencing as the judges agreed it should be heard where the messages were sent from.

Riley, of Dan Y Coed, in Cwmavon, Port Talbot, was in court for just 10 minutes.

His solicitor, Michael Walsh, said: “He is mortified by his own behaviour and he apologises for any upset that may have been caused to everybody.”

Mr Walsh asked the magistrates to free his client on bail, telling them the only reason he had been held overnight was for his own safety.

He suggested that Riley may be in more danger from inmates in a Leeds prison than he would be walking the streets.

Speaking for the prosecution, Sandra White told the court that the defendant had posted a number of offensive tweets, only some of which related to the murder of Mrs Maguire.

She said the offence had come to the attention of West Yorkshire Police because of their investigation into the attack.

Another man, aged 21 from Leeds, is due in court later this month over alleged malicious communications related to Mrs Maguire.

A 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with her murder and is due to stand trial in November.

Additional reporting by PA

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