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Shoreham man jailed for stirring up religious hatred in Facebook posts

20 Jun, 2017 11:10 News Justice Done
Shoreham man jailed for stirring up religious hatred in Facebook posts

A man is facing more than a year behind bars for attempting to stir up religious hatred in Sussex.

Nigel Pelham was charged with eight counts of publishing threatening written material intending to stir up religious hatred against Muslims on dates between February 24 and November 16, 2015 on his own Facebook account. The charges are not used very often and are so serious they need Attorney General approval to be brought against someone.

Pelham, 50, of Freehold Street, Shoreham appeared on March 7 at Lewes Crown Court and pleaded guilty to the offences.

On June 16 he was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court in London to 20 months for each of the eight counts to run concurrently. He also has to pay £100 victim surcharge and has had two hard drives and his tower computer confiscated.

Sussex Police Hate Crime Sergeant, Peter Allan said: "The charges brought in this case are extremely serious and were only brought against four people in England and Wales during 2016. Nigel Pelham used Facebook to express some truly offensive views, with no understanding of how serious his actions were. Many people see social media as a harmless and sometimes faceless place to air their opinions, however I hope this shows we will not tolerate this type of behaviour and will act when someone reports their concern about what someone is posting.

“I hope the sentence handed down by the court on Friday acts as a deterrent to others and sends a reassuring message to those who may be directly targeted or are more widely affected by people’s use of social media to spread messages of fear and hate.

"I encourage people who witness such content, to report it to the provider of the social media platform, but such reports can also be made to us online.”

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