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Man Accused Of Sending ‘Grossly Offensive’ Captain Sir Tom Moore Tweet To Stand Trial

Claire Reid

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Man Accused Of Sending ‘Grossly Offensive’ Captain Sir Tom Moore Tweet To Stand Trial

A man accused of sending a ‘grossly offensive’ tweet just hours after Captain Sir Tom Moore died will stand trial over the post. 

NHS hero Captain Tom died on 2 February this year, aged 100 - he had previously raised millions for charity by walking 100 laps of his garden. 

A day after his death a tweet was posted online that read: “The only good Brit soldier is a deed one, burn auld fella buuuuurn [sic].”

Joseph Kelly was arrested over the tweet. Credit: Facebook
Joseph Kelly was arrested over the tweet. Credit: Facebook

Joseph Kelly, 36, from Glasgow, was arrested and charged under the Communications Act. 

He has pleaded not guilty and was released on bail. 

At a hearing at Lanark Sheriff Court in November, Kelly’s defense advocate Cameron Smith told the court prosecuting Kelly could breach his human rights.

Smith argued: “The court will see that the accused stands accused of breaching the Communications Act where it is an offence for an individual to send a message which is grossly offensive.

“The tweet in question stated ‘the only good Brit soldier is a deed one, burn auld fella, buuuuurn’ and that comment was made in the passing of Captain Sir Tom Moore who the court may well be aware of.

“The minuter does not dispute that he did author that tweet to his Twitter account however, the minuter contends that his fundamental human rights have been breached and that the procurator fiscal and the prosecution itself is in breach of those rights.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

“The fundamental question raised is that if highly trained prosecutors require to be instructed on what may or may not be grossly offensive then how is a layman such as Mr Kelly supposed to judge that, or indeed any other individual?

“He had a mere handful of followers and removed his tweet a few moments after posting, he never envisaged the tweet going viral.”

But at a hearing held today (16 December), Sheriff Adrian Cottam announced the case would be going to trial on 31 January. 

The charge against Kelly alleged that he made a social media post that was 'grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, and that did utter offensive remarks about Captain Sir Tom Moore, now deceased'.

Captain Tom helped raise more than £32 million for NHS Charities Together during the first lockdown in spring 2020. 


Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News, Crime

Claire Reid
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