Christopher Spivey has been convicted today of harassing the family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby after a two day trial at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.
Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS East of England, Jenny Hopkins said:
“Mr Spivey posted a number of comments on social media about the murder of Fusilier Rigby which were very upsetting to his family and friends.
“People can and do post all kinds of comments on social media and are not prosecuted for them, but in this case we were satisfied that the posts crossed the line into criminal behaviour targeted at the Rigby family.
“The prosecution’s case was that the combination of the postings, containing a mixture of grossly offensive remarks about the Rigby family, upsetting assertions surrounding the murder, and the publication of details of two of the family’s homes, could not be justified under freedom of speech.
“After hearing all the evidence, the court has found Mr Spivey’s behaviour in uploading these posts amounted to the harassment of Lyn Rigby and Sara McClure, Fusilier Rigby’s mother and sister.”
Mr Spivey was convicted of harassment of Mrs Rigby and Ms McClure and also of two charges of sending a message by means of a public electronic communications network that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character. Sentencing was adjourned to 27 August 2015.
Ms Hopkins said: "Everyone should be able to go about their daily lives free from harassment caused by someone deliberately making grossly offensive messages about them on social media.
“We take allegations of this kind very seriously, especially where there is evidence of a course of conduct which causes fear or distress to someone, and which in this case made the victims feel unsafe in their own homes.”