If there’s one thing we can all agree on during this pandemic, it must be the heroic legacy of Captain Sir Tom Moore. Surely?!
Not quite, it seems. Joseph Kelly, from Glasgow, is accused of calling for Captain Sir Tom to “burn” his tragic death at the hands of coronavirus earlier this month.
But Kelly, a Celtic fan, denies sending the ‘offensive’ tweet about the war hero.
Joseph Kelly, 35, from Castlemilk in Glasgow, is accused of tweeting on February 3: ‘The only good Brit soldier is a deed [sic] one, burn auld fella, buuuuurn.’
It was the day after Captain Sir Tom Moore passed away in Bedford Hospital.
Kelly has been charged under the Communications Act 2003 but was not present when his case was called at Lanark Sheriff Court.
His lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and he has been given a trial date of Thursday June 17.
The charges against Kelly state: ‘On February 3, 2021, you Joseph Kelly did cause to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network a post to the public using social media that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, and that did utter offensive remarks about Captain Sir Tom Moore, now deceased.’
The war veteran became a national hero after fundraising more than £32 million for NHS Charities Together.
‘Would have broken his heart’
The centenarian initially planned to raise £1,000 by walking 100 laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday last April.
But his plight captured the hearts of Britain, and his goal was quickly surpassed. He was knighted by the Queen at a special ceremony in July for his efforts.
Captain Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore has previously spoken out about hateful online trolls during her father’s fundraising efforts.
Hannah said: “I think it would have broken his heart honestly if we’d said to him people are hating us.
“I couldn’t tell him.”
“Because how do you rationalise to a 100-year-old man that something so incredibly good can attract such horror.”
“So we contained it within the four of us and we said we wouldn’t play to […] that vile minority, we wouldn’t play to them, we’re not because we are talking to the massive majority of people who we connect with.”
Mrs Ingram-Moore also revealed her family had faced some “outrageous negativity” after their trip to Barbados in December.
She added: “That trip to the Caribbean was a holiday of a lifetime for him. He sat outside in 29 degrees, in shorts, short-sleeve shirts and sandals.”
“It came in its thickest and fastest when we were already realising he was not very well and that’s what triggered it. It felt so grossly unfair.”
Kelly’s trial comes as the Scottish National Party push for new hate crime bill. It aims to criminalise ‘stirring up hatred’ but critics have said the definition is ‘vague’ and could legalise cancel culture.