Norwich man sentenced over racist Twitter comments

A Norwich man who made racist comments on a social networking site about a new Norwich City signing has been ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

Luke O'Donoughoe, of Johnson Place, was handed a lifetime ban from Carrow Road by the club following his comments on Twitter, and today he was sentenced to community work after pleading guilty at magistrates' court.

O'Donoughoe, 23, made racist comments about James Vaughan and the Canaries' current playing squad shortly after the Premier League club's signing of the former Everton striker at the end of May.

A complaint from a member of the public to Norfolk police was investigated and O'Donoughoe was subsequently charged with sending an offensive message by public communication network.

Today, he appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court, where he pleaded guilty.

At the beginning of the month he became the first person to be banned from a football ground for making racist remarks on Twitter.

In taking the action, the club reiterated that they took a zero tolerance policy on racisim or discrimination of any kind, something that is in its supporters' charter and ground regulations. This action was backed by Kick It Out – the national campaign for equality and inclusion in football.

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O'Donoughoe, who was a season ticket holder for nine years at Carrow Road before 2007, had also seen his original comments deplored by Canaries fans on Twitter, while football pundit and former player Mark Bright was the loudest in his protests at the original comments on the website.

Shortly afterwards he deleted the offensive comments and offered his 'sincere apologies' to James Vaughan via Twitter. His account has been deleted.

O'Donoughoe was sentenced to a 12 month community order and 120 hours of unpaid work.