Facebook troll jailed for insults over stabbing of Leeds teacher

Jake Newsome. PIC: Ross Parry

Jake Newsome. PIC: Ross Parry

A Facebook troll who posted offensive messages regarding murdered school teacher Ann Maguire has been jailed for six weeks.

Jake Newsome, 21, took to the social networking site three days after Mrs Maguire was stabbed at Corpus Christi College in Leeds on April 28.

He admitted the charges to police, explaining he empathised with the 15 year-old charged with her murder because he identified with him.

Prosecutor Sandra White told Leeds Magistrates Court: “This message was posted to the Facebook social network on May 1 from Mr Newsome’s phone.

“Four minutes later a comment was posted saying,’That’s not very nice’, to which the defendant replied, ‘I think it is’.”

After he posted the message, people began to leave comments in response and Newsome was arrested. Newsome admitted posting the message but told cops he “didn’t think they were offensive”, the court heard.

Ann Glen, for Newsome, said her client had no previous convictions an he had understood he would “reap the consequences realising that he had offended members of the public”.

At a previous hearing she told the court: “He felt that there were some similarities as to what people were saying about the young man and the background that this defendant has.”

Sentencing him after he admitted sending an offensive message at a previous hearing, District Judge David Kitson said: “What I find particularly offensive - that must have caused distress to all those who knew Mrs Maguire - were the derogatory remarks made saying that you were glad she had been killed.”

Newsome, wearing a dark hoodie and blue jeans, looked shocked at the decision. As he was led away from court his friends sat sobbing in the public gallery.

Mrs Maguire, 61, died after she was attacked as she taught a Spanish lesson. The 15-year-old boy has appeared in court accused of murdering Mrs Maguire. He is remanded in custody and is due to go on trial later this year.

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