Derbyshire man in court for claiming 'black lives did not matter' on Derby County football forum

A Derbyshire man who used a racist word on a football forum has been sentenced.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 3:38 pm

When William Rouse used the word on a Derby County Facebook forum, another user sent him a private message calling him a ‘disgrace’ for what he had posted.

Rouse replied to him, making reference to the complainant being ‘a terrorist’.

The incident happened on December 5 when Rams’ fans on the Facebook group were condemning how a number of Millwall supporters allegedly started booing as players from both teams as they took the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign shortly before kick-off.

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Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Rouse, of St Leonards Place, Shirland, near Alfreton, posted a reply saying ‘we need three points’, then used a racist word and commented that the lives of black people did not matter.

A supporter then private messaged Rouse to challenge him about his use of the racist language.

Rouse replied intimating that the supporter was a ‘terrorist, making reference to him ‘making plastic explosives’.

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to sending an electronic message which was grossly offensive.

He appeared before magistrates in Chesterfield yesterday (Monday, April 26) where he was handed a 12-month community order and told to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation, £85 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

Chief Superintendent Tracy Lewis, head of operational support at Derbyshire police, said: “The verdict shows that those committing racist acts can’t hide behind their keyboards and offenders should expect to be brought to justice.”