HMA v RYAN MACDONALD

At Glasgow Sheriff Court Sheriff Wendy Sheehan imposed a level 1 Community Payback Order on Ryan MacDonald after he pled guilty to posting an offensive and threatening message on a social media site to which the public had access.

On sentencing Sheriff Sheehan made the following statement in court:

"Ryan MacDonald, you pleaded guilty to posting a message of a threatening and offensive nature on a social media site to which the public had access and thereby committing a breach of the peace. This offence took place on 14 February at  approximately 1am. It was the crown's position that the message  was viewed by the Head of Media & Publishing for Celtic FC and that the message was viewed and re-tweeted by 9 others. Fortunately the message does not appear to have incited any further response from members of the public and I am advised that you removed the message from Twitter the following day.
 
If you did not realise then, then I am sure that you realise now the unacceptability of your behaviour. The message you posted was of a highly threatening and offensive nature. There is no place for this type of behaviour in our society. Such remarks could lead others to act in a similar way and provoke hostility in others.
 
I have considered carefully whether to order background reports in this case and particularly whether a custodial sentence may be appropriate to mark the seriousness of this offence. Having listened carefully to all that has been said by your solicitor on your behalf and taking into account the fact that you appear before the court as a first offender, that you removed the message from Twitter within a 24 hour period , expressed remorse and pleaded guilty to this charge at the earliest opportunity and also that in consequence of this charge you were dismissed from your employment as a chef with an Aberdeen hotel, I am persuaded that I can deal with the matter today without calling for further reports.
 
I intend to impose a level 1 Community Payback Order which will require you to perform unpaid work in the community. I consider 100 hours to be the appropriate period and I will discount that to 70 hours in view of your early guilty plea. Given the nature of this offence I also impose a Football Banning Order for a period of 3 years from today's date."

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