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5 Nov, 2021 14:44

Judge slams Chelsea fan’s ‘hateful and abusive content’ as he hands down eight-week sentence for vile anti-semitic rhetoric

Judge slams Chelsea fan’s ‘hateful and abusive content’ as he hands down eight-week sentence for vile anti-semitic rhetoric

A 21-year-old Chelsea fan has been lambasted by a judge after he was sentenced to prison for posting anti-semitic abuse aimed at fans of London rivals Tottenham, including images of Auschwitz and a man performing a Nazi salute.

Blues supporter Nathan Blagg, 21, was handed a two-month prison term at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of sending offensive messages – with his sentence increased by three weeks, the Crown Prosecution Service said, after Blagg's messages were deemed as 'racial hate crimes'.

The offending social media messages were sent between September 2020 and February of 2021, with the prosecution saying that they were "racially aggravated... given the context of Tottenham Hotspur's fans coming from a Jewish area."

The court added: "Nathan Blagg thought hiding behind a screen could shield him from the consequences of posting hateful and abusive content. That is absolutely not the case."

Among messages posted online by Bragg was a photograph of train tracks entering Auschwitz, captioned: "Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz."

In another tweet, Blagg wrote: "Y*ds tomorrow, which means for the next 48 hours I can tweet as much anti-Semitism as I want without being told off."

Another said: "Gas a Jew, Jew, Jew."

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Blagg was taken into custody in February after his tweets were reported to Chelsea's security team – with his defence counsel saying that Blagg's tweets contained the offensive terms because he was suffering from "low moods" because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Chelsea applauded the sentence. "We welcome the outcome of this case and the resulting custodial sentence," the Blues said in a statement.

"As a club, we will continue to work closely with the police and support the prosecution of such offences to show that posting hateful and abusive content has consequences."

The decision comes amid separate reports of West Ham supporters singing anti-semitic chants to a Jewish man on board a flight to Genk ahead of yesterday's Europa League clash in Belgium.

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West Ham have promised to hand out lifetime bans to any fans found to have taken part after saying that they were "appalled by the contents of the video circulating on social media."

"The club is liaising with the airline and relevant authorities to identify the individuals," the Hammers said in a statement. 

"We continue to be unequivocal in our stance – we have a zero-tolerance approach to any form of discrimination. Any individuals identified will be issued with an indefinite ban from the club.

"Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the football club and we do not welcome any individuals who do not share those values."

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