Support our Nation today - please donate here

Swansea man faces prison for racist tweet

10 Mar 2023 3 minute read
Striker Michael Obafemi . Photo Zac Goodwin. PA Images

A man has been warned he faces a potential prison sentence for sending a racist tweet about former Swansea striker Michael Obafemi.

Josh Phillips, 26, sent the abusive message in response to a tweet from Swansea City FC announcing that Obafemi, 22, was being transferred on loan to Burnley.

Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard the tweet was deleted before Twitter blocked the account used by Phillips, for breaching the social media platform’s rules.

Police traced to the account to Phillips, from Swansea, and he was arrested and interviewed by officers.

He admitted sending the message, which contained a racial slur, on January 28, saying he had been drunk at the time.

He later pleaded guilty to sending a message on a public communications network that was grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing, contrary to the Communications Act 2003.

A victim personal statement by striker Obafemi was read to District Judge Christopher James on Friday.


The footballer said: “The racist abuse towards me is totally unacceptable.

“It doesn’t matter what I do for a job or what colour my skin is. I am a human being and don’t deserve this behaviour.

“This was extremely offensive and distressing for me, my family and friends, who all read it.

“I hope the person who made these comments learns that this racist abuse is not acceptable.

“Any kind of discrimination is totally unacceptable and I for one will not accept it.”

District Judge James told Phillips he faces a football banning order as well as a potential prison sentence.

He adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports on Phillips, who is of previous good character.

The judge told him: “I am going to adjourn your case for a pre-sentence report.

“It is clear you have pleaded guilty to what is a very serious offence of this type.

“The fact that I am adjourning for a pre-sentence report to be prepared should not be taken by you as any indication of sentence that will be imposed.

“All options are and do remain open in this case, including immediate custody.”

The judge released Phillips on bail until his sentencing at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on March 31.

Swansea City posted a tweet condemning “vile” social media posts made after news of Obafemi’s loan move to Burnley.

The club tweeted: “Swansea City is aware of disgusting racist abuse posted on social media in relation to Michael Obafemi’s loan move to Burnley.

“The club is sickened by the vile language used in the offending posts, and is working to identify those responsible and take the strongest possible action.

“The matter has been reported to South Wales Police, who are investigating. There is no place for racism or discrimination of any kind in society or football.”

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 year ago

I would be the last person to go light on any racism. I have seen what it does to those who are victim of it. It is gross and the damage is deep. …But I do find it interesting that we allow many people to say racist things on television, on the news and on various comedy programmes, that laws are underpinned by racism or designed to be racist are enacted every day, that government bodies prop up racism, that entire public institutions can be seen to be racist ….and yet the people that are prosecuted for it are working-class… Read more »

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.