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Ian Wright | Pundit disappoint...
Soccer

Ian Wright | Pundit disappointed by outcome of Kerry student case

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

16:20 3 Feb 2021

A Kerry student has been spared a criminal conviction for sending racist abuse to former footballer Ian Wright on Instagram.

Presiding Judge David Waters applied the provisions of the Probation Act in the case against Patrick O'Brien, 18.

It means that the case against O'Brien  - of Sycamore Street, Ashleigh Downs, Tralee - has been proven, but that no conviction will be recorded against him.

O'Brien sent 20 messages to Ian Wright on 11 May last year, many of which were racist in nature.

Another apparently warned Wright:  “You are like a 65-year-old...if I get corona (virus) I will cough in your face and give you your death sentence. If I see you I'll put you on your deathbed.”

During the trial, Wright expressed his forgiveness for O'Brien, but has since tweeted his disappointment with the outcome.

Ian Wright

"I've seen today's judgement and I'm disappointed," Wright posted on Twitter.

"This case was never about revenge, it was always about consequences for acts of racism. My forgiveness of this young man was for my own deeply personal need and desire to move forward without further anguish.

"I'm a 57 year old man that has has experienced racism throughout my life. I wasn't expecting my forgiveness to be an invitation to lighten a sentence.

"Seeing this judgement, I can only wonder what deterrent there is for anyone else who spouts this kind of vile racist abuse.

"A individual wished death upon me because of my skin colour. No judge's claims of 'naivety' or 'immaturity' will ever be acceptable to us.

"The supposed immaturity and naivety of our attackers is never any comfort.

"So yeah, I am disappointed. I'm tired. We're all tired," said Wright

Earlier, Judge Waters said that the 'mindless comments' were representative of a 'naive' young man.

"I believe this was the unthinking behaviour of a young, naive man who put things on social media which were absolutely reprehensible," he said.

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