A student jailed for making racist comments on Twitter following the collapse of Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba could face further punishment – this time from his university.
Liam Stacey, 21, was released from prison at the end of last month – after being told he would serve half of a 56 day custodial sentence behind bars.
But while the third-year biology student has got back his liberty, he still remains suspended from Swansea University.
According to reports, he is still yet to face a disciplinary hearing – with a committee having a range of sanctions at its disposal.
They include letting a student off with a warning, imposing a fine or expulsion.
A university spokeswoman told The South Wales Evening Post newspaper: “The disciplinary proceedings haven’t yet taken place, but we will not be saying when they will be taking place as that is a matter between the university and Liam Stacey.”
Mark Leech, founder and former Chief Executive of the national ex-offenders charity UNLOCK questioned what it had to do with the Unversity.
Mr Leech said: “If a 15 year old boy appears in court for shoplifting he doesn’t then face the Headmaster at his school – and nor should he.
“This is none of the University’s business, Stacey represents no threat to other students and he should be allowed to get on with his life – the University should keep its nose out.”
Stacey, originally from Pontypridd, was arrested on March 18 after making a series of racially offensive comments on Twitter the day before.
They had been prompted after the sports-fan posted a message on the social networking site which appeared to mock Bolton midfielder Mr Muamba’s sudden collapse.
The Congolese-born player suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup match with Tottenham Hotspur.
As paramedics were fighting to save his life, Stacey wrote: “F**k, Muamba. He’s dead. Ha ha.”
It resulted in several other site users, including two people believed to be of Afro-Caribbean origin, to message Stacey in return. Some of these posts contained explicit language directed at Stacey.
He then retorted with a string of racist Tweets – prompting complaints to the police.
During his appearance before magistrates in Swansea, Stacey pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence but stressed he was not a racist and that he had been drunk when posting the comments online.
Despite his pleas for leniency, and a subsequent appeal, Stacey went to prison.
A court has also previously heard, as well as being suspended from university, Stacey’s dream of becoming a forensic scientist almost certainly lies in tatters because of his criminal conviction for a racially aggravated offence.
Earlier this week, the UK Government’s Attorney General Dominic Grieve issued a warning to Twitter users about what they posted online.
He said: “The idea that you have immunity because you’re an anonymous tweeter is a big mistake.
“If necessary, we will take action.”