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West Brom fan, 50, jailed after blaming autocorrect for racist abuse to Romaine Sawyers

A 50 year old West Brom fan has been jailed after blaming autocorrect for sending a racist abuse to his own team’s players Romaine Sawyers.

A mindless Baggies ‘supporter’ has been sent behind bars for eight weeks for racially abusing the club’s midfielder on social media.

Simon Silwood was sentenced at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning, with this the first case in Britain where somebody will actually serve prison time for racially abusing a footballer online.

A very significant ruling today in the fight against racism in football.

Simon Silwood (Image: PA)

Silwood, from Kingswinford, West Midlands, has been also ordered to pay £500 in compensation to the player, who has since signed for Championship side Stoke City on loan, and £500 in prosecution costs.

Passing sentence, District Judge Briony Clarke said: “This is, Mr Silwood, a serious offence. There is no place for racism or racist abuse online.

“This clearly, in my view, crosses the custody threshold.

“I assess the remorse you have for your actions as very minimal indeed.”

Mr Silwood had denied sending the offensive message when appearing at Walsall Magistrates’ Court on the 9th of September.

He abused the footballer, who came through West Brom’s academy before stints at Walsall and Brentford and returning to The Hawthorns outfit in 2019, on social media when he suggested Sawyers should win the “Baboon d’Or”.

PC Stuart Ward, appointed the UK’s first football hate crime officer in January, said racial abuse of players was nothing new but he had been shocked by some of the complaints he had received.

The officer, who has himself suffered abuse, told Birmingham Live: “I’ve been in this role since January and within that time I’ve been taken aback by how many reports have come in. For me, it’s out there and it’s happening.

“It has been happening in football grounds since the 1970s, monkey gestures and throwing banana skins at players, it hasn’t suddenly appeared – it has always been there.

“Now players, football clubs and fans are more confident in reporting it.”

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Discrimination has no place in football

That’s the same whether on the pitch or side of the pitch, at the training ground or in the stands. We take any news of discrimination in football extremely seriously. If you tell us about something, we will act promptly and respond appropriately.

Everything we are told is treated in strict confidence. You talk, we listen, we act.

How to let us know what you’ve seen or heard

It’s easy to tell us if you’ve been the victim or witnessed an incident of discrimination in football.

Complete a simple online form by clicking HERE.

You’ll be asked to provide your details, along with details of the incident including who was involved, and where and when the incident occurred.

Another way to report the incident is through Kick It Out, the charity tackling racism and discrimination in football. Visit kickitout.org

What are the types of discrimination you can report to us?

Discriminatory abuse can be a negative reference to any one or more of the following ‘protected characteristics’, covered by the Equality Act 2010:

– Age

– Disability

– Gender reassignment

– Marriage and civil partnership

– Pregnancy and maternity

– Race

– Religion and belief

– Sex (gender)

– Sexual orientation

Tell us, we’ll tackle it

If you’ve seen or heard discrimination in football, click HERE.

Twitter users reacted to a West Brom fan, 50, jailed after blaming autocorrect for racist abuse at Romaine Sawyers…

@ewl841351831: Totally deserved. Should get more but this is a big step in the right direction

@Moti_027: 2 months will show him, just increase it for repeat offenders

@Jdilworthlfc: It’s a start. His own fucking player too

@TheAdiePearson: Good! Daft racist prick!

@WeBleedBlue1221: We need more of this. This is how you stop Racism. You enforce it.

@WBAJamess: 8 weeks? Hmm, is that a fair sentence?

@P4ulG87: It’s the least the cunt deserves. No place for it. Wanker. #WBA

@SamuelRoberts01: Should be a bit longer but hopefully it sets a good example

@WBAJamess: I suppose when you’ve never been to jail, 8 weeks is a long time. Seems like a warning shot to anyone thinking about abusing players. Good to see..

@JohnFrancisBC: Really surprised to see a custodial sentence AND a compensation order. When I worked with victims you would never get both. Things must have changed in the last 4 or 5 years. Good.

@Newell007: Brilliant about time

@joemul01: More of this

@Therealclarebob: Good no place for it

@Mcfarland727: Hopefully this a big moment in tackling racism. A long overdue prison sentence has finally been handed out. Albeit it’s only 8 weeks but hopefully this will start to deter people from racially abusing people.

@Baggieboy75Mike: And hopefully the club give him a lifetime ban home and away we don’t do wankers like him at Albion

@Brad_WBA: “I assess the remorse you have for your actions as very minimal indeed.” Needs another 8 weeks

@Dannylowe85: Progress slowly but surely. Let’s keep it going

@Markysix: A 50 year old man in 2021.

@The5pecialone31: 8 weeks is a joke

@_websterr: at least it’s a start, should be the bare minimum punishment from now

@AidanCorkerry: Goof! Some time inside should sort these scummy fuckers out

@MrBuck89: Huge step towards stamping out online abuse. These kind of sentences will make a lot of people think twice

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