In late July, a man was convicted in court for sending antisemitic content to a Jewish sports reporter via a public communication network.
35-year-old Kerry Hardwell pleaded guilty to sending offensive, indecent, menacing, obscene messages or matters via a public communication network targeting a Jewish sports reporter, reports The Jerusalem Post.
According to the Sussex Police, Hardwell frequently posted hate speech using antisemitic tropes in an attempt to attack public figures on social media, which is against the law, as set out by the UK’s Communications Act.
The targeted sports reporter, Dan Levene, initially reported the harassment in August 2022 after Hardwell made a social media post deemed especially extreme. According to the victim’s statement to the court, the harassment led to him leaving his position as a reporter for Chelsea FC.
Hardwell was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid community service and received a three-year soccer ban restricting him from attending professional matches in the UK. Although the order restricts Hardwell for three years to attend games, Chelsea FC issued a lifetime ban.
A spokesperson for Chelsea FC said that „Chelsea FC condemns antisemitic abuse and hate speech in all its forms,” adding that they have zero tolerance for it in their club.
„We commend Dan Levene for coming forward. Nobody should have to be subject to the type of disgusting abuse he has had to endure,” said Chelsea FC.
Photo credit: Jason Bagley
A fan has been banned for life by @ChelseaFC after admitting antisemitic hate crime offences spanning a decade.
Kerry Hardwell, 35, of Bognor was sentenced at Worthing Magistrates to complete 200hrs unpaid work, and given a 3-year Football Banning Order. 1/4 pic.twitter.com/9z41IA41Vp
— Dan Levene (@danlevene) August 2, 2023