Man jailed for threatening to ‘slit a Muslim’s throat’

27th Jul 2018
Man jailed for threatening to ‘slit a Muslim’s throat’

Rhodenne Chand (Photo: West Midlands Police)

Harun Nasrullah

A Birmingham man of Indian origin who posted a total of 32 Islamophobic messages on Twitter has been given a 20-month jail sentence after being convicted of stirring up racial hatred on June 25.

Rhodenne Chand, from Kingstanding, told officers he had been “venting” in the aftermath of the Manchester and London Borough Market terror attacks.

Some of the messages encouraged violence against Muslims and for mosques to be attacked, and in one, Chand claimed he wanted to “slit a Muslim’s throat”.

A member of the public reported the twitter rant to police fearing the 31-year-old might carry out his threats.

Chand’s arrest on June 17, 2017, came two days before the Finsbury Park terrorist attack, which saw Darren Osborne plough his van into a crowd of Muslim worshipers outside a mosque. One person was killed in the attack and nine were injured. Osborne was said to have been radicalised by tweets and posts by far-right figures.

He said he felt disgusted at himself for writing the posts when he had been “venting”.

A specialist prosecutor assessed the case and determined the posts showed intent to stir up racial and religious hatred and that such “violent rhetoric can cause considerable harm once it is in the public domain”.

Chand was charged with publishing threatening, abusive or insulting material intended to stir up racial hatred.

He admitted the offence and appeared at Birmingham Crown Court where he was jailed for 20 months.

West Midlands Police Superintendent Mat Shaer said, “This case saw the sustained release of offensive, threatening material aimed at Muslim and Pakistani communities. It left people fearing some of the threats could be carried out by him or his Twitter followers.”

“The law is careful to try to not penalise expression of opinion, even in strong and possibly offensive terms. But Chand’s tweets were a much baser expression of animosity towards a section of society and were totally unacceptable. We take hate crime very seriously and anyone found to be stirring up hatred on the grounds of race, religion, sexuality, or disability could find themselves in court facing a criminal conviction.”

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