Former councillor handed 6 week prison sentence for offensive social media post

Tony Richardson, who represented the Fens and Rossmere ward, made the post while in office

A former Hartlepool councillor has received a six week prison sentence for sharing an offensive post on social media.

Anthony Richardson, known as Tony, pleaded guilty to making a post on Facebook that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.

The 68-year-old, who previously represented the Fens and Rossmere ward, made the post while in office in 2019.

The case first went to Teesside Magistrates’ Court on June 25, but was adjourned in order for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Mr Richardson appeared in court on July 8 and, alongside his prison time, was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £128 and costs of £85.

While representing his ward, council sanctions were put in place against Mr Richardson as punishment for sharing ‘offensive and racist’ Facebook posts.

He was reported to have shared a post likening an immigrant trying to claim benefits to a dog, leading to suspension from the Brexit party and a 2020 council investigation which resulted in him being barred from council committees.

After issuing an apology and attending equality and diversity training, he requested that he be allowed to sit on the council’s committees again.

In February 2021 his request was granted via a council vote, however, he was not re-elected in the May 2021 local elections.

He received just 380 votes standing for the Veterans and People’s Party.
Gazette Live

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