Indian-origin UK man jailed for Islamophobic rant on Twitter


LONDON: An Indian-origin British man who posted Islamophobic rants on social media in the wake of the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last year has been sentenced to 20 months in jail.
Rhodenne Chand was found guilty of stirring up racial hatred online at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday.
West Midlands Police said the 31-year-old’s sentencing should be a warning to anyone who posts inflammatory messages that they could be arrested for committing hate crimes.
“This case saw the sustained release of offensive, threatening material aimed at Muslim and Pakistani communities – it left people fearing some of the threats could be carried out by him or his Twitter followers,” said West Midlands Police Superintendent Mat Shaer.
“The law is careful to try and not penalise expression of opinion, even in strong and possibly offensive terms. But Chand’s tweets were a much baser expression of animosity towards a section of society and were totally unacceptable,” he said.
Shaer said his force takes hate crime very seriously and anyone found to be stirring up hatred on the grounds of race, religion, sexuality, or disability could find themselves in court and facing a criminal conviction. Some of the messages encouraged violence against Muslims and for mosques to be attacked – and in one Chand claimed he wanted to “slit a Muslim’s throat”.