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Scottish man sentenced to prison for anti-Catholic 'hate crime'

October 17, 2011

A Scottish man has been sentenced to an 8-month prison term for sending out anti-Catholic messages over the internet.

As part of a campaign to eliminate sectarian animosities from the internet, a judge sentenced Stephen Birrell to prison, explaining that he wanted to send “a clear message to deter others.”

Birrell had admitted posting messages that referred to Catholics as “scumbags” and said that he hoped the fans of a soccer team popular among Catholics would “all die.”


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  • Posted by: kmbold - Oct. 17, 2011 6:53 PM ET USA

    Having become inured in a way to all the anti-Catholic screeds that pop up online when anything Catholic is in the news I find this ruling rather startling. Not surprising though that it is related to a sports team.