Man jailed for posting offensive messages after death of Leeds teacher

Robert Riley has been jailed
Robert Riley has been jailed
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A man who posted offensive social media comments about the death of Leeds schoolteacher Ann Maguire has been jailed.

Robert Riley, 42, of Cwmavon, Port Talbot, was sentenced to eight weeks in prison when he appeared at Swansea Magistrates Court today (Thursday).

He admitted sending a message of a grossly offensive, abusive or malicious character when he appeared before magistrates in Leeds on Monday.

Superintendent Sam Millar, who heads the Leeds District community safety partnership Safer Leeds, said: “The immediate aftermath of the death of Ann Maguire saw a huge number of heartfelt tributes paid to her.

“Many were from those who knew her personally as colleagues and pupils, and others were from people across the country and further afield. Some were in the form of flowers laid at the school and others were made via news media or through social media websites. Her family highlighted that these were a great source of comfort to them at this very difficult time.

“It is therefore truly appalling for someone to behave as Riley did in opportunistically taking advantage of the situation to derive whatever perverse satisfaction he did from posting offensive comments that understandably upset members of the public.

“We hope his conviction for this offence will serve to remind others that there are consequences for offensive behaviour that constitutes a criminal offence whether it is communicated through social media or other means.”