Man sentenced for calling New Zealand attacker a 'hero' on Facebook

A police officer secures the area in front of the Masjid al Noor mosque after the shooting in Christchurch on March 15, 2019 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Fifty-one people were killed in the attacks at two mosques in Christchurch

A man who called the New Zealand terror attacker a "hero" in a series of "racially offensive" Facebook posts has been given a suspended sentence.

Pawel Mirkowski, 47, of Hesketh Avenue, Didsbury, uploaded three posts two days after 51 people were killed and dozens more were wounded at two mosques in Christchurch on 15 March.

He wrote that "all Muslim Pakistanis should die", prosecutors said.

Stockport magistrates gave him four weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months.

Pleading guilty to sending an offensive message by a public communication network, he was also ordered to 200 hours of unpaid work, undergo a 20-day rehabilitation scheme and pay £85 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

The Crown Prosecution Service said during sentencing, magistrates told him that there was "no place in society for racism".

Speaking after sentencing, Senior Crown Prosecutor Victoria Norman said Mirkowski had posted "grossly offensive comments on social media at an extremely sensitive time".

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