A man from Wrexham has been jailed after he posted an anti-Muslim post on his Facebook page following the Manchester bombing horror.

A crown court judge told Keegan Jakovlevs, 27, that racism was evil and anyone who incited racially aggravated violence had to expect severe punishment.

Mold Crown Court heard how he admitted that on May 21 he published a post which was threatening, intending to stir up religious hatred.

It spoke of killing Muslims and stopping them entering the country.

When challenged, he said police should be arresting Muslims who he alleged were planning bombs in their mosques – and said that there were 300 in Wrexham.

He described them in vile terms and told shocked police that if he had the chance he would blow the mosque up in Wrexham.

Jakovlevs, of Bran at Acrefair, near Wrexham, said to have been under the influence of drink and cocaine when he posted the words on Facebook, denied he was a racist.

He was jailed by a year by Judge Niclas Parry who said: “In these most trying of times for a multi-cultural society, it is more important than ever that racism must not be allowed to flourish.

“The message must be received and understood in every corner of our society that racism is evil.

“Those who indulge in racially aggravated violence must expect to be punished severely.”

Judge Parry said Jakovlevs had admitted behaviour that would rightly outrage the public.

At a most sensitive of times when the nation was grieving and in utter shock, he was responsible for posting a hateful message blaming the Muslim population at large “for the acts of madness of what may have been the acts of one demented
person only”.

His message had the potential of being viewed by more than 2,000 people “who for some reason choose to follow what you say”.

It appeared that even in the short period the message was published before it was removed by Facebook, some 140 people responded positively to the post.

Judge Parry said Jakovlevs’ police interview served only to underline an inherent racism and utter lack of knowledge. But he at least accepted his message could clearly turn other people against innocent members of society.

It could, as the defendant had put it himself, “stirred the pot – a pot that was undoubtedly already boiling”.

Judge Parry said thanks to the prompt actions of Facebook the period of publication was very short, there was no evidence anyone acted upon his posting.

He was now remorseful and appeared to have acted on impulse when heavily intoxicated.

But the judge told Jakovlevs: “This was a post that invited readers to indiscriminately kill individuals of the Muslim faith, published at a time when the emotions of the public would have been running high.

“Clearly that message could have caused fear and distress to those among the Muslim community. Conduct of this kind must be deterred.”

Barrister Matthew Curtis, prosecuting, said on May 22 an individual detonated a homemade suicide bomb at the exit of the Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

Twenty-two people including children and young adults attending the concert were killed and dozens more injured. 

“The devastating consequences of this act of terror had a very substantial impact on the community of Manchester and beyond. 

“This killing was borne of a hatred that is difficult to understand,” he said.

Soon afterwards, Jakovlevs posted on Facebook “a hate-filled comment” which itself referred to killing others, in particular Muslims.

The following day police became aware of the post in which he said “Thoughts with all the families of the horrible Manchester bombing” but it went on to say “let’s kill every Muslim we see” and described them in vile and derogatory terms.

It was visible to his 2,154 Facebook friends, the security settings meant it was open to the public and it had a hashtag link which linked it to other posts.  

He wrote other posts about the terror attack which were not threatening.

Jakovlevs, who became hostile on arrest, accepted he wrote the post and said he did not know why he had done it.

When it was read by an officer, he laughed and suggested he had been drunk at the time.

He referred to Muslims terrorists – “ people you lot should be going to find, not questioning me”.

He spoke of 300 of them living two minutes away in town.

He said hey blew people up for fun and said that they were all from the Syrian army and ISIS.

“They’ll blow us up soon as well,” he said.

The defendant said they went to mosques to plan to blow people up and added “We got one sat in Wrexham and no-one is doing nothing about it. I’ll be honest... If I get a chance, I’ll blow it up. Simple.”

He then added: “Well I wouldn’t want to do it, would I, but me sat here on edge because we think they’re going to blow us up.”

Mr Curtis said his interview demonstrated the intended target of the defendant’s post and threat was the Muslim community generally.

He ended his interview by agreeing he shouldn’t have done it. “But if someone wants to react on that, it’s their fault,” he said.

He said he was sorry if it hurt anyone “but that’s the way I felt”.

Robert Edwards, defending, said that when his client wrote the post, he was “a drunken, drugged, immature, stupid young man”.

In anger he wrote a Facebook post which he now regretted.

Mr Edwards said his client now had some insight into the effect of what he had done. He did not consider himself to be a racist and did not belong to any political or prohibited organisations.

Feelings had been running high within the community but what he failed to appreciate was that feelings were also running high in the Muslim community.

“He knows not all Muslims are the same and not all Muslims are terrorists” but that was what some might infer from his Facebook post.

At the time he had taken alcohol and cocaine. “With the clarity of sobriety, he can see that what he did was absolutely wrong which could have had serious ramifications,” Mr Edwards said.

But he said the court should be cautious. People were not going to be influenced by the Facebook posting of a stupid and drunken young man.

Sue Hemming, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said after the hearing: “After the Manchester attack, there were countless messages of support on social media for those affected but Keegan Jakovlevs chose to stir up religious hatred by calling for British Muslims to be indiscriminately killed.

“No harmful consequences appear to have resulted but his intention was clear and he pleaded guilty once he saw the CPS’s case against him.

“People should not assume they can hide on social media when stirring up hatred and violence.

“Where there is evidence the CPS will prosecute them and they will face imprisonment as a result.”

And PC Jon Blake from North Wales Police who led the investigation said: “The nature and timing of this offence was shocking. We will not tolerate such hate crimes and will bring offenders before the courts.

“His sentence reflects the gravity of his offence.”