- Jonathon Best livestreamed himself on Facebook
- Best sentenced to 10 weeks in prison
A man who livestreamed himself on Facebook racially abusing three England football players after the Euro 2020 final has been jailed.
Jonathon Best, 52, posted a rant about Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who missed penalties in the shootout against Italy which England lost, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
England’s players during the Euro 2020 final penalty shootout defeat against Italy, after which Bradford Pretty posted his racist tirade.
On Tuesday Best was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison at Willesden magistrates court. He had previously pleaded guilty to sending by public communication network a grossly offensive or indecent or obscene or menacing message or matter.
The CPS said the court heard Best, a forklift driver of Feltham, west London, was caught out after a colleague and Facebook friend reported the 18-second clip to Facebook and the police after he refused to take it down. Facebook took the clip down three days later.
Elaine Cousins, from the CPS, said: “Jonathon Best took to Facebook to livestream a barrage of racist abuse at the three players who missed penalties during the game. He used social media to publicly vilify these three young men who tried to score for England. When approached by a Facebook friend asking him to remove the grossly offensive content, Best replied: ‘It’s my profile, I can do what I want.’
“There is absolutely no room in the game, nor elsewhere, for racism. The CPS is committed to bringing perpetrators of hate crime to justice where there is the evidence to do so.”
She added: “I would like to thank the individual who reported this appalling hate crime and I hope this prosecution goes some way in educating and deterring people from posting hate on social media.”
After the case the CPS announced it was working with the police, player bodies and organisations to explain what evidence is needed to pass its legal tests to authorise charges in hate crime cases.
(PA Media, The Guardian, 03.11.2021)