A plasterer has been given a suspended jail sentence after posting a racist video on social media after England’s defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
Bradford Pretty abused England players Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford in a vile clips uploaded to Facebook in the wake of the Three Lions’ penalty defeat.
The 50-year-old from Folkestone, Kent, had been drinking all day in the lead-up to the final, downing up to 16 cans of lager.
During the one-minute expletive-laden rant with a cross of St George painted on his face, Pretty yelled: “Sick, gutted, proper deflated.
“Be proud of the boys.
“But anyone who knows me well will understand what I’m talking about. Three lions on a shirt. How many times have we seen * take penalties and **** it up?”
In the clip the father-of-three used two racist terms to refer to the black players.
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A further video was posted where Pretty apologised for the first video but said he did not care if he offended anyone because he wanted to speak out against “political correctness”.
He was arrested two days after the Wembley defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020 final in July.
England stars Marcus Rashford Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho had been racially abused by numerous social media users after missing crucial penalties in the game on July 11, leading to a national outcry.
Kent Police received a referral from the national football policing unit after Pretty’s video was linked to an address in the county.
At Folkestone Magistrates’ Court today, Pretty was handed a 50-day jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and fined £85.
The self-employed plasterer pleaded guilty to sending a message via the internet that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.
Julie Farbrace, prosecuting, said: “Police became aware of the video Mr Pretty had uploaded which shows him talking about the game, after it had finished.
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“There were people who commented on the video who were upset. It was not sent directly to any of the people named in the video.”
Richard Graham, defending, said his client had been drinking all day but did not seek to use this to excuse what he called a “complete moment of drunken madness”.
Magistrates were told his business had been ruined as a result of the incident, with many people calling him out to quote for fake jobs.
Mr Graham told the court: “He is a self-employed plasterer, and has explained to me the impact of his actions on the business.
“He has lost 70 per cent of his work, and been given jobs to go and quote and there’s no one there. His wife and family members have. had comments made towards them.”
Hundreds of people left bad ratings for Pretty’s company on consumer review website Trustpilot.
The court heard he responded online to people condemning his comments by complaining about “political correctness”.
His defence also described the video as “abhorrent”.
Speaking outside court, Mr Pretty denied he was racist and said he was drunk at the time of the rant.
He said: “I am not a racist, it was just purely heightened with the England tournament, I was very drunk and that’s all I can say. I am very sorry.”
Asked if he would like to apologise to the players targeted, he said “of course”.
He added: “They had a brilliant tournament, 50 years I’ve been waiting for my country to win a tournament, I thought it was coming home, it wasn’t down to them boys, they played their hearts out, let’s just hope we can win it at the World Cup. I apologise.”
During the game England lost 3-2 on penalties to Italy after a 1-1 draw after extra-time. Rashford, Sancho and Saka all missed from the spot for England, leaving the Azzurri to take the title.
After the sentencing, Elizabeth Jenkins, deputy chief crown prosecutor and hate crime in football lead at the CPS, said: “There is no room in the game, nor elsewhere, for racism. Where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest, we will prosecute such cases and seek an increased sentenced on conviction.
“Hate crimes such as these have a massive impact on players and their mental health.
“The CPS takes this kind of offending very seriously and this case shows that where offensive content is reported to the police, we can successfully bring offenders to justice.”