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A Scottish man who posted an offensive tweet following the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore has been ordered to serve 150 hours community service by a UK court.
Glasgow man Joseph Kelly deleted the tweet after just 20 minutes, but that was enough to see him front court over his harsh words.
Kelly posted the tweet the day after the national hero's death, writing: "The only good Brit soldier is a deed one, burn auld fella buuuuurn [sic].”
As reported by The National, Kelly has now been sentenced for the message.
Lawyers for 36-year-old argued that the Glasgow man only had few followers on Twitter at the time and that he had been drinking prior to writing the post.
“He accepts he was wrong. He did not anticipate what would happen. He took steps almost immediately to delete the tweet but the genie was out of the bottle by then,” Kelly’s defence agent Tony Callahan said.
“His level of criminality was a drunken post, at a time when he was struggling emotionally, which he regretted and almost instantly removed.”
As a result, Kelly received a sentence of supervision for 18 months and 150 hours of unpaid work in the form of a Scottish Community Payback Order (CPO).
Sheriff Adrian Cottam, who sentenced the Glasgow man, said in court that Kelly's tweet was 'grossly offensive' after 'having heard the evidence'.
"The deterrence is really to show people that despite the steps you took to try and recall matters, as soon as you press the blue button that’s it," Cottam said.
"It’s important for other people to realise how quickly things can get out of control.
"You are a good example of that, not having many followers.”
Kelly was looking down the barrel of a maximum of six months behind bars and a possible fine of up to £5,000 (AUD $8,780) for his comments.
The NHS and war hero died on 2 February 2021.
Having served in the Second World War, Sir Tom became something of a national celebrity last year when, to mark his 100th birthday, he decided to do 100 laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS during the first lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic.
He went on to raise an astonishing £32.8 million (AUD $57.5 million), which saw him praised by the NHS for his extraordinary effort.
Sir Tom was a source of inspiration for the country during one of the darkest periods in recent memory, and in July 2020, he was awarded with a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.