Another man has been jailed for making a sick joke – the third to be sentenced this week.
Barry Thew has been imprisoned for eight months after wearing a T-shirt on the day PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were murdered in Manchester.
The 39-year-old walked through the town centre or Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, displaying the slogans: ‘One less pig — perfect justice’ and ‘Kill a cop for fun.com ha ha.’
The officers had been shot dead just three and a half hours earlier in an ambush.
And today Thew was sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court after admitting a public order offence for ‘displaying writing or other visible representation with intention of causing harassment, alarm or distress’.
Inspector Bryn Williams, of the Radcliffe neighbourhood policing team, said: ‘To mock or joke about the tragic events of that morning is morally reprehensible and Thew has rightly been convicted and sentenced for his actions.’
Although few would condone his behaviour, Thew is the third person this week to be sentenced for making offensive statement, which some fear could have repercussions for comedians’ freedom of speech.
On Tuesday, Azhar Ahmed was ordered to do 240 hours of community service after tweeting ‘all soldiers should die and go to hell’; and on Monday Matthew Woods, 19 was jailed for 12 weeks ater making bad-taste jokes about missing five-year-old April Jones online.
Woods says he was inspired by bad-taste joke website Sickipedia, which currently has five pages of jokes about the toddler.
Thew has 29 sets of previous convictions for 77 offences since 1983, and was subject to a suspended sentence at the time.
His eight-month sentence is the same that a Gloucestershire Sunday School teacher received yesterday for abusing victims aged seven, 13 and 15 at his classes 30 years ago.