Ian Wright can’t believe the judgement in racial abuse case

There has been a lot of discussion about racism in football on JustArsenal, and the lack of punishment handed out to perpetrators. The Arsenal legend Ian Wright was recently racially abused by an Irishman online and gave the evidence to the police so that he could be prosecuted. As wrighty said: “An individual wished death upon me because of my skin colour.”

Patrick O’Brien, of Sycamore Court, Ashleigh Downs, Tralee, Kerry in Ireland admitted his guilt and issued a public apology to Wright, which he accepted so that he could move on, but it seems that the judge in the case decided to only give the 18 year-old a period of probation rather than have him convicted as a criminal.

As you can imaging, Wrighty was not very happy at all with the decision. Wright said on Twitter:

This is how it was reported in the Irish Journal.

He had pleaded guilty to two charges: harassing Wright on 11 May contrary to the Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997, and sending a message by phone that was grossly offensive, obscene and menacing.

At a sentencing hearing at Tralee District Court today, Judge David Waters said “he didn’t see anything to be gained” by imposing a criminal conviction.

He noted O’Brien has shown genuine remorse for his actions and had donated €500 to the Irish Network Against Racism out of his own volition.

He said the language used by O’Brien was reprehensible, but were the unthinking behaviour of a naive, immature, young man.

As Wrighty says; where is the deterrent? Are the courts saying that “to wish death” on someone because of their colour is only worth a slap on the wrist? How is that going to help in the fight against racism?

READ MORE: “I was really shocked” – Arsenal ace aims parting dig at Mikel Arteta


    1. Totally agree
      Dress them up in a pink boiler suite
      With the crime they have committed and there full name on the back and send them out picking up the litter from our streets

  1. Its actually a good decision. The victim has been acknowledged the perpetrator has been tracked down prosecuted found guilty admitted his guilt apologized and paid a fine to an appropriate organisation. Compared to the dark days of the 1980’s these are far more enlightened days.

    1. Naming and shaming the little arse wipe would have been more appropriate,he will no doubt do it again.

    2. I agree. Jailing this man would only probably have hardened his wrong thinking attitude. A new and better way of life being shown to miscreants is the best antidote to racism.

  2. Unfortunately, we live in an era where social media outlets have instant impact. Action can only be made re-actively. The only Pro-active way to deal with these scum bags is to make sure that anyone of an age that is accountable of deliberate racial abuse should be fully aware of the consequences before they even begin to start typing. Social media has become a weapon for trolls and the like. The sooner the authorities do something about it the better! The courts are under a set of laws and rules that leave cases like this to relay the wrong messages. In this case, the culprit (scum bag) has got off lightly again and the message is the same for others to follow suit. I can’t see many being deterred from doing exactly the same thing again and again..

  3. Let me share an experience that might help. In the 1990s in Jamaica inner city women started a very dangerous practice of throwing acid on their competitors (Matie). They would spoil their faces so they cannot compete for their men. They kept on getting small taps on the wrist, especially in cases where the acid did minor injury. A judge got fed-up and gave one perpetrator a few years. It stopped.

    I endured a lot of racism in the UK when I studied there, ranging from having my car smashed because a girl said she likes Black men to being given the wrong direction when I was to do a presentation in Parliament. Racism in England is real and nasty. My most memorable, though, is when two drunk girls asked me for a ride in my car and I told them ‘no’ because they were drunk. One said to the other: “Tell him you will report it that he assaulted you. He is Black. He could get many years in prison whether or not it is true.” I drove right through the red light. Thanks goodness I did not get a ticket.

    Structural changes are needed. Look at the trinket changes in football. Taking the knee might seem powerful to some persons but it is not structural. In 2001 I was asked in a class at SOAS, Uni of London, which will emerge more rapidly: gender equity or decent race relations. I said it requires thought. My White female lecturer put the question another way: Who will break the White Men Referee Club – White women or a Black man. We all got the point. As she predicted White women would because gender has greater support. Simple equation: input determines output.

    In fairness though, a lot has changed with this generation’s access to information. I cannot say if changes are significant in the rural areas though. In 2000 I was in Wales outside of the town (rural) and a woman ran up to me and rubbed my hand to see if chocolate would come off. She told me she had never seen a Black man in real life. Bit by bit we shall get there but all of us have to begin to rethink the structures.

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