A man has been hit with a ten-week prison sentence for vile racist abuse of three black England players after the Euro 2020 final, including Camberwell-born Jadon Sancho.
Jonathon Best, 52, livestreamed a barrage of racist bile on Facebook aimed at Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford, who all missed penalties in England’s defeat on Sunday, July 11.
He was sentenced to ten weeks in prison on Tuesday (November 2) at Willesden Crown Court in north-west London.
The forklift driver of Feltham, west London, was reported by a friend and colleague to the police after he refused to take it down.
Elaine Cousins, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “While the majority of the nation took great pride in the Three Lions reaching their first international final in more than 50 years, 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.
“I would like to thank the individual who reported this appalling hate crime and I hope this prosecution goes someway in educating and deterring people from posting hate on social media.”
The CPS is currently working with the police, player bodies and organisations, to explain what evidence is needed to pass our legal tests to authorise charges in hate crime cases.
Elizabeth Jenkins, of the CPS, said: “Hate crimes such as these have a massive impact on players and their mental health. The CPS takes this kind of offending very seriously and this case shows that where offensive content is reported to the police we can successfully bring offenders to justice.”