Fan who posted ‘abhorrent’ Facebook video racially abusing England players is spared jail

“There is no room in the game, nor elsewhere, for racism.”

Furvah Shah
Wednesday 06 October 2021 19:00
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<p>Pictured left to right, England player’s Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka. </p>

Pictured left to right, England player’s Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka.

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A man has pleaded guilty to sending an obscene message on social media, after posting a racist video targeting Black England football players after the Euro 2020 final in July.

Bradford Pretty, 49, from Folkestone in Kent uploaded a video of himself on his Facebook account on July 11, reacting to the Euro final. In the video, Pretty used racial slurs against Black players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.

Pretty then uploaded another video where he apologised for the first video, but said he did not care if he offended anyone.

The video was reported to Kent Police, who investigated and referred it to the Crown Prosecution Service. Pretty was then arrested and charged by Kent Police on July 13, under CPS guidance, with sending an obscene message on a social network.

Pretty pleaded guilty at Folkenstone Magistrates’ Court to one count of sending an obscene message via social media. He was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work, 50 days in custody suspended for 12 months and was fined £85.

Elizabeth Jenkins, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor and sports prosector, said: “There is no room in the game, nor elsewhere, for racism. Where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest, we will prosecute such cases and seek an increased sentenced on conviction.”

She added: “Hate crimes such as these have a massive impact on players and their mental health. 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.”

Mark Tavender, CPS Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “The video uploaded to Facebook by Bradford Pretty was entirely unacceptable and included racist language that will never be tolerated in our society.

He added: “The CPS is committed to tackling Hate Crime wherever it appears in society and will never hesitate to prosecute crimes of this nature whenever our legal test is met.”

Speaking outside of court, Pretty said to KentOnline: “I am not a racist, it was just purely heightened with the England tournament, I was very drunk and that’s all I can say. I am very sorry.”

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