Chelsea conducted club investigation into antisemitic messages after court proceedings terminated in February and have banished the individual for 10 years; 20-year-old escaped court proceedings in UK as posts were published in Australia, outside of the UK's jurisdiction
Friday 30 April 2021 14:28, UK
Chelsea have banned an individual for 10 years for sending antisemitic and offensive messages on social media.
Sam Mole, 20, from Kettering, was charged with sending racially or religiously aggravated malicious communications relating to a series of abusive tweets to freelance journalist Dan Levene in October 2019.
He appeared at Leicester Magistrates Court in February but was found not guilty, as he posted the tweets while on holiday in Australia - therefore, deemed outside of the UK jurisdiction.
He was handed a three-year restraining order prohibiting him from directly or indirectly contacting Levene, posting messages about him on social media or encouraging others to do so.
As reported in February by the Daily Mail, Judge Nick Watson told Mole: "The law prohibits me from punishing you."
He described it as "unpalatable" that Mole had "escaped the consequences of his actions even though the impact of the offence was clearly felt".
Judge Watson added: "Most would think sending them should be an offence, whether the sender is in this country or abroad.
"You can regard yourself as fortunate the law prohibits me from punishing you for an offence most people would say for which you should be punished."
Since the conclusion of court proceedings, Chelsea have conducted an internal investigation and have decided to ban the 20-year-old from the club for the next 10 years.
A Chelsea statement on Friday read: "Following the conclusion of court proceedings in February, the club conducted our own investigation into the matter and has taken the decision to ban the individual from Chelsea FC for a period of 10 years.
"Everybody at Chelsea is proud to be part of a diverse club. Our players, staff, fans and visitors to the club come from a wide range of backgrounds, including the Jewish community, and we want to ensure everyone feels safe, valued and included. We will not tolerate any behaviour from supporters that threatens that aim.
"More broadly, we are clear that there can be no place in our game, nor our society, for racism, antisemitism, homophobia, sexism or any form of discrimination. In sport, as in wider society, we must create a social media environment where hateful and discriminatory actions are as unacceptable online as they would be on the street.
"As a club, we will continue to take action against individuals or groups who produce or disseminate social media posts that contravene these values."
On Friday, Manchester United announced they have banned six individuals after they abused Tottenham's Heung-Min Son on social media following their Premier League clash on 11 April.
Three season ticket holders, two official members and one individual on the season ticket waiting list have been handed suspensions from the club, subject to appeal.
It came as the Old Trafford club announced they have found a 350 per cent increase in online abuse towards their players since September 2019.
Sky Sports is supporting the boycott of social media by football and the wider sporting community this weekend.
Sky Sports will not post any sports content to its channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Tik Tok for the duration of the boycott period from 3pm on Friday April 30 until 11.59pm on Monday May 3.
Sky Sports stands with our football, cricket and other sport partners to urge social media companies to do more to eradicate online hate and ensure social media can be a place for sports fans to discuss, debate and consume the best sporting action without discrimination and abuse.
Sky's partnership with Kick It Out is based on fighting discrimination and championing inclusion, and our action this weekend demonstrates our clear and enduring commitment to the cause.
Sky Sports TV channels, website (skysports.com) and two apps (Sky Sports app and Sky Sports Scores app) will remain the go-to destinations for sports fans to keep up to date with all the action, scores and sporting news throughout this exciting weekend of sport.
Sky Sports is committed to making our channels a safe place for debate, free of abuse, hate and profanity. If you see a reply to Sky Sports posts and / or content with an expression of hate on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, age or class please copy the URL to the hateful post or screengrab it and email us here.
For more information please visit: www.skysports.com/hatewontstopus