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Irish Teenager Who Racially Abused Ian Wright Avoids Criminal Conviction

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

3 Feb 2021

18-year-old Patrick O’Brien, who plead guilty to harassing and racially abusing former Arsenal and England player Ian Wright on May 11 has avoided a criminal a conviction.

At a sentencing hearing, Judge David Waters said he “didn’t see anything to be gained” by giving O’Brien a criminal conviction and instead gave the teenager probation.

Judge Walters called O’Brien “a naive young man” and claimed he had shown “genuine” remorse for his actions even donating 500 euros (£440) to the Irish Network Against Racism out of his own volition.

The Judges words and verdict were not received well by Wright however. He said in a statement on Twitter: “I’ve seen today’s judgement and I’m disappointed.

“This case was never about revenge, it was always about consequences for acts of racism. My forgiveness of this young man was for my own deeply personal need and desire to move forward without further anguish. I am a 57-year-old man that has experienced racism throughout my life. I wasn’t expecting my forgiveness to be an invitation to lighten a sentence.

“Seeing this judgement, I can only wonder what deterrent there is for anyone who spouts this kind of vile racist abuse.

“An individual wished death upon me because of my skin colour. No judge’s claims of “naivety” or “immaturity” will ever be acceptable to us. The supposed immaturity and naivety of our attackers is never any comfort.

“So yeah I am disappointed. I’m tired. We are all tired.”

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