Fabrice Muamba: Jailed Twitter user Liam Stacey appeals

A student sent to jail for posting racially offensive comments on Twitter about footballer Fabrice Muamba may be freed on Friday if he wins an appeal.

Swansea University student Liam Stacey, 21, from Pontypridd, was sentenced to 56 days behind bars on Tuesday.

A High Court judge in Swansea will hear the appeal against his sentence.

Stacey admitted inciting racial hatred over remarks about the Bolton Wanderers player, who collapsed during a FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur.

Sentencing Stacey at Swansea Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, District Judge John Charles had called Stacey's comments "vile and abhorrent".

Stacey broke down in tears as he was led away to begin his jail term.

Muamba, 23, who suffered a cardiac arrest, is still in intensive care.

Image caption Fabrice Muamba, 23, remains critically ill after collapsing during a match on 17 March

A second year biology student at Swansea, Stacey was arrested after his comments on the social networking site were reported by other users.

A number of people challenged Stacey on Twitter following his first comment, and he responded with a number of offensive posts aimed at other Twitter users.

Last week the court heard how Stacey posted the offensive comments shortly after the former England Under-21 star collapsed during the FA Cup quarter-final at White Hart Lane on 17 March.

Magistrates were told police forces across Britain received complaints following the comments.

Stacey tried to "distance himself" from the tweets by claiming his account had been hacked, the court was told.

He later tried to delete his page but was arrested the following day at his student house in Swansea.


When interviewed by police, Stacey said he had been drinking since lunchtime on Saturday and was drunk when he made the comments.

A Swansea University have suspended Stacey from the university pending the conclusion of our disciplinary proceedings.

Stacey has also been de-registered as a player with Treorchy rugby club, where he has turned out for the second team on occasions.

Support for Stacey's jail sentence was widespread on the day it was handed down, and debated on Twitter.

But a significant minority criticised the jail term and claimed it was politically motivated to make an example of him.

His legal team will launch an appeal against his sentence at Swansea Crown Court in front of High Court judge Mr Justice Wyn Williams.

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