Student jailed over Muamba tweets

A student who mocked Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba after his collapse at White Hart Lane has been jailed for inciting racial hatred.

Twenty-one-year-old Liam Stacey took to social networking site Twitter to make hurtful comments relating to the Trotters midfielder, who suffered a cardiac arrest on the Tottenham Hotspur turf.

Fans watched on as the 23-year-old was left fighting for his life before being transferred to the London Chest Hospital, where he has made a steady recovery since the incident.

Police were inundated with complaints from the general public - and former footballer Stan Collymore - regarding the comments before Stacey, a Swansea University undergraduate, was tracked down and arrested.

Last week, he admitted to the charges brought against him at Swansea Magistrates' Court and was jailed on Tuesday for 56 days.

The first of his messages began with "LOL (laugh out loud). **** Muamba. He's dead!!!" before the comment was removed and his account deleted.

Stacey was close to tears before his appearance in court last week and wept as the District Judge John Charles read out his sentence.

"In my view there is no alternative to an immediate prison sentence," Charles told Stacey.

"It was not the football world who was praying for [Muamba]... everybody was praying for his life."

He ended by adding that the remarks made by Stacey: "via a social networking site were instigated as a result of vile and abhorrent comments made as a result of a young man who was fighting for his life."

The court heard that, when arrested, Stacey admitted his guilt and said he had been drunk at the time. On the day in question, he had been out watching Wales's rugby grand slam victory and had drunk up to eight pints of beer.

Gareth Jones, defending, said Stacey was completely ashamed of his behaviour.

"On the night in question his comments were vile - he admits that," Jones said.

Stacey has ambitions to become a forensic scientist.

That was now very unlikely, Jones said, and he would "pay dearly for the rest of his life" for what he had done.