England fan who posted racist video on Facebook after Euro final spared jail

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The England team look on during the agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy at the Euros    (Getty Images)
The England team look on during the agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy at the Euros (Getty Images)

A father-of-three who posted an “abhorrent” video on Facebook racially abusing Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after the Euro 2020 final has been handed a suspended sentence.

Plasterer Bradford Pretty, 50, drank “15 or 16” cans of lager before embarking on a tirade against the three England players following the loss on penalties to Italy in July.

The clip – which includes him using two racist terms to describe the trio – was uploaded to social media and attracted comments.

Pretty appeared at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday where he admitted sending a message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.

Bradford Pretty in the racist video posted after the Euro 2020 final (Facebook)
Bradford Pretty in the racist video posted after the Euro 2020 final (Facebook)

He was sentenced to 50 days in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Playing the video for the court, prosecutor Julie Farbrace said: “It shows him talking about the game… in particular talking about the England players who had missed a penalty at the final.

“In relation to the matter there were people who commented on the video, people who were upset about the word he put in there.”

In the video, an intoxicated Pretty can be heard saying: “Where do I start? Where do I start?

“So gutted like all of us.

“Proper deflated, big proud of the boys, big proud, but anyone and everyone that knows me well will understand what I am talking about.”

He goes on to refer to Rashford, Sancho and Saka missing penalties and uses two racist terms to refer to them.

“I am so f****** sad. I am so f****** sad,” he adds at the end.

When challenged in the comments section of the video, Pretty apologised to anyone that was offended but railed against “political correctness”.

He added: “I am standing up and saying what I said for the weak ones…

“England till I die.”

His defence solicitor Richard Graham acknowledged the video was “abhorrent”, saying it was a “moment of drunken madness”.

He said Pretty had drank “15 or 16” cans of lager on the day of the final and was “clearly heavily intoxicated” in the video.

Mr Graham asked that his client be given credit for his early guilty plea.

Chairman of the bench Chris Mackenny told Pretty that his offending “clearly passes the custody threshold” but suspended the sentence of 50 days in prison for 12 months.

Pretty, of Guildhall Street, Folkestone in Kent, was told to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and must also pay prosecution costs and a court surcharge totalling £213.

England lost 3-2 on penalties to Italy after a 1-1 draw at Wembley in the final on July 11 this year. Rashford, Sancho and Saka all missed from the spot for England in the deciding shoot-out.

Deputy chief crown prosecutor Elizabeth Jenkins, the CPS’s hate crime in football lead, 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.”

Senior crown prosecutor Mark Tavender added: “The video uploaded to Facebook by Bradford Pretty was entirely unacceptable and included racist language that will never be tolerated in our society.

“After Kent Police reported the case to the CPS, we made the decision to charge Pretty with sending an obscene message via a social network. Pretty then entered a guilty plea in which he accepted the charge

“The CPS is committed to tackling hate crime wherever it appears in society and will never hesitate to prosecute crimes of this nature whenever our legal test is met.”

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