Jailed: Fife man sent racist abuse to international footballer and was caught with child abuse images

A Kirkcaldy man who admitted sending a high-profile footballer a racist message and possessing indecent images of children has been jailed for a year.

By A Court Reporter
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 4:00 pm

Kirk Thompson, 22, of Ravens Craig, appeared before Sheriff Alistair Brown at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court today.

Thompson, pleaded guilty to three charges – possession of indecent images of children, permitting to be taken or making indecent images of children, and sending a racist message.

The court previously heard that Thompson, who was drunk, had sent ex-Premier League footballer Yannick Bolasie a racial slur in a message via the social network platform, Instagram.

A man who sent racist abuse to footballer Yannick Bolasie, and was then found to have images of child abuse on his phone, has been jailed. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

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At the time the offence was committed, Mr Bolasie, who now plays in Turkey for Caykur Rizespor, called his abuser a “keyboard warrior” and a rat.

The court heard that police had found two category-A videos in Thompson’s possession and that they were 22 seconds and 52 seconds in length.

Officers also uncovered a pair of category-B videos and that each of them were a minute-long.

Thompson appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court and was jailed for a year.

Thompson’s defence lawyer told Sheriff Brown she was hoping to persuade him to deal with the case by way of a community payback order.

She said: “He appreciates these are serious offences.

"He is not a particularly social individual and he was made redundant during lockdown. He knows this will have an impact on his employment prospects in the future.

"He had lost a bet and at the time he had been drinking alcohol to cope with the death of his grandmother.

"He describes his behaviour as stupid and is at a loss to explain it.”

The court heard Thompson had used an encrypted email service called Proton to have conversations about child abuse with others. His lawyer acknowledged there had been conversations mainly with one individual.

In sentencing Thompson, Sheriff Brown described his message to the footballer as ‘more than stupid’, ‘deeply offensive’ and that it might have happened due to Thompson ‘not getting out enough’.

He continued: “When it comes to your racist abuse of Mr Bolasie, in terms of culpability, it was deliberate. In terms of harm, you were contributing to a toxic trend in the use of electronic means of communication.

“The particular word you used is one which (Mr Bolasie) rightly found deeply offensive. The court will always take abuse of that sort very seriously.”

In terms of the charges relating to the images, Sheriff Brown said: “Your conduct was both deliberate and persistent. The number of images was very small and the duration of the videos was short.

“Nevertheless, what’s described is serious abuse of children… for your personal gratification.

"You do, by viewing material of this sort, help to provide an audience for those who take the images and abuse children.

“You were an active member of an online community which was bound together by its shared interest of sexual abuse of children.”

He added: “I assess the harm in your case to be significant.”

He jailed Thompson for a year for possessing the indecent images and sentenced him to jail for four months for the racist message, with the terms to run concurrently.

Thompson was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.

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