Harrow student given community service for tweeting people in Help for Heroes T-shirts 'deserve to be beheaded'' after Drummer Lee Rigby's murder

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A student who tweeted that anyone wearing a Help for Heroes T-shirt should be beheaded just hours after Lee Rigby was murdered has been spared jail.

Deyka Ayan Hassan, 21, posted the message on Twitter at around 4pm on Wednesday, May 22, shortly after the soldier was hacked to death in Woolwich, and was immediately inundated with rape and death threats.

Hassan went to police to report the threats against her, but was then herself arrested and charged with making a malicious communication. She pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Katie Weiss, prosecuting, told Hendon Magistrates' Court on Friday that the tweet Hassan posted said: 'To be honest if you wear a Help for Heroes t-shirt you deserve to be beheaded'.

Itpal Dhillon, in mitigation, told the court that Hassan had posted the tweet as a "joke" and at the time was not aware Drummer Rigby was a soldier.

Ms Dhillon said: "At the time she didn't know the full details relating to the horrific incident.

"She certainly didn't know that the man who was killed was a soldier and the killing may be motivated by extremist beliefs or values.

"She fully accepts that the comment was distasteful and disgusting."

Ms Dhillon claimed Hassan had posted the message in relation to anyone who wore the T-shirt as she did not like its design.

She told the bench Hassan quickly shut down both her Twitter and Facebook accounts shortly after receiving replies to her tweet that said she "deserved to be raped" and threatening to set fire to her house.

She said that her client had always been brought up to be tolerant and respect society.

“She accepts that she deserves the response she got but it doesn't take away from the fact that she was being threatened,” said Ms Dhillon.

After realising the impact of her tweet Hassan was "disgusted" with herself and was particularly upset at having let down her family, including her father who flew back from Somalia after her arrest, the court heard.

Sentencing her to 250 hours of unpaid work, chairman of the bench Nigel Orton said: "By placing your tweet you published and that tweet caused great offence.

"The tragic events of Woolwich that day have created a context that made this tweet appear extreme.

"It had a huge impact and clearly caused offence and distress.

"We accept that you did not intend to cause harm and you felt it was a joke. Your act was naive and foolish and without regard to the sensitivity of the general public and a time of heightened sensitivity.'

Hassan, of Elmgrove Crescent, Harrow, admitted one count of sending a message that was grossly offensive or of an offensive or obscene character.

Comments (9)

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8:56pm Mon 10 Jun 13

ipsofacto says...

Her remarks were an incitement to hatred and a custodial sentence would have been more appropriate.

I understand from other media sources that she is a student at Kingston University. I hope the authorities there will be reviewing whether Miss Hassan belonged to any societies which have the intention of radicalising young people.

I understand further that, like many students, she is supporting herself with a part-time job in a shoe shop. I sincerely hope that that shop is not in Harrow.
Her remarks were an incitement to hatred and a custodial sentence would have been more appropriate. I understand from other media sources that she is a student at Kingston University. I hope the authorities there will be reviewing whether Miss Hassan belonged to any societies which have the intention of radicalising young people. I understand further that, like many students, she is supporting herself with a part-time job in a shoe shop. I sincerely hope that that shop is not in Harrow. ipsofacto
  • Score: 0

4:40am Tue 11 Jun 13

NoMorePlease says...

OK with your comment but what has the shop in being in Harrow relevant
OK with your comment but what has the shop in being in Harrow relevant NoMorePlease
  • Score: 0

7:48am Tue 11 Jun 13

ipsofacto says...

Two problems:

1) Her actions have brought that shop's name into disrepute - if I had been convicted of that offence I would be dismissed. No second chances. Dole queue.

2) I do not want to go into a shoe shop in Harrow and be served by her (her photo is available elsewhere)
Two problems: 1) Her actions have brought that shop's name into disrepute - if I had been convicted of that offence I would be dismissed. No second chances. Dole queue. 2) I do not want to go into a shoe shop in Harrow and be served by her (her photo is available elsewhere) ipsofacto
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Tue 11 Jun 13

jackdaw says...

Ipsofacto says this girl is a student at Kingston University.

I hope this incident has taught her to be aware of the trouble she has caused by her thoughtless actions.

Who knows what a hornets' nest this may have stirred up if quick action had not been taken by the police.

The threats made against her must show her to make a joke about this awful incident incites further violence.

I hope this will have been a a learning experience for her and the community service will teach her to respect the whole community and she will continue to behave herself whilst at Kingston University.
Ipsofacto says this girl is a student at Kingston University. I hope this incident has taught her to be aware of the trouble she has caused by her thoughtless actions. Who knows what a hornets' nest this may have stirred up if quick action had not been taken by the police. The threats made against her must show her to make a joke about this awful incident incites further violence. I hope this will have been a a learning experience for her and the community service will teach her to respect the whole community and she will continue to behave herself whilst at Kingston University. jackdaw
  • Score: 0

1:58am Wed 12 Jun 13

Sonoo Malkani says...

I have huge difficulty in trying access the mind-set of a young lady STUDYING and receiving EDUCATION in a university in England,having such hate-filled,perverse ideas instead of broadening her horizons and enriching her soul with all that one can learn during these precious years.

What a wasted opportunity!She has done Kingston University no favours and had best not spoil the name of OUR borough.

Defies all imagination that even today,after so many years of terrorist activity, we are still allowing our students to exercise freedom of speech paying scant attention to the RESPONSIBILITY for the words they thoughtlessly utter.

Her comments were not simply "distasteful and disgusting" but were definitely incitement to hatred and deserving of a much harsher sentence.

This would have sent out a strong message to those who think and feel like her --that they had better be ready to face consequences in line with their actions when they set out to destabilize diverse communities, living cheek by jowl as we do these days.

On top of it she has seen fit to tweet her unbelievably insensitive and vindictive remarks about a SERVING SOLDIER who was only proudly wearing the Help the Heroes shirt to remind us of the exemplary service rendered by British soldiers.
As if that was not enough she has the audacity to moan that she has come under fire and needs police protection!The only protection she needs and deserves is from her OWN debased thoughts,words and deeds.

Whilst not condoning the threats she has received in response to her own ugly remarks,Miss Hassan must remember that WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND.

Love begets love,and hate just that!Don't throw shmuck at others and expect to be showered with rose petals.

One can't help wondering how many more like her are wandering about our universities and infecting others with their polluted and hate-filled minds.

These are matters which must be tackled very thoroughly, if we are truly committed to eradicating the spread of such poisonous and dangerous utterances.

They are very serious issues and must be given due consideration by the Home Office and the Police with a view to tackling radicalisation in ALL forms of our educational institutions.

The whole community needs to help the authorities to prevent the warping of minds from a very tender age ,when its like a sapling and not wait until it has grown into a tree which is twisted but so strong that we feel helpless and unable to stop the damage which we can so easily sense is in the making.
I have huge difficulty in trying access the mind-set of a young lady STUDYING and receiving EDUCATION in a university in England,having such hate-filled,perverse ideas instead of broadening her horizons and enriching her soul with all that one can learn during these precious years. What a wasted opportunity!She has done Kingston University no favours and had best not spoil the name of OUR borough. Defies all imagination that even today,after so many years of terrorist activity, we are still allowing our students to exercise freedom of speech paying scant attention to the RESPONSIBILITY for the words they thoughtlessly utter. Her comments were not simply "distasteful and disgusting" but were definitely incitement to hatred and deserving of a much harsher sentence. This would have sent out a strong message to those who think and feel like her --that they had better be ready to face consequences in line with their actions when they set out to destabilize diverse communities, living cheek by jowl as we do these days. On top of it she has seen fit to tweet her unbelievably insensitive and vindictive remarks about a SERVING SOLDIER who was only proudly wearing the Help the Heroes shirt to remind us of the exemplary service rendered by British soldiers. As if that was not enough she has the audacity to moan that she has come under fire and needs police protection!The only protection she needs and deserves is from her OWN debased thoughts,words and deeds. Whilst not condoning the threats she has received in response to her own ugly remarks,Miss Hassan must remember that WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND. Love begets love,and hate just that!Don't throw shmuck at others and expect to be showered with rose petals. One can't help wondering how many more like her are wandering about our universities and infecting others with their polluted and hate-filled minds. These are matters which must be tackled very thoroughly, if we are truly committed to eradicating the spread of such poisonous and dangerous utterances. They are very serious issues and must be given due consideration by the Home Office and the Police with a view to tackling radicalisation in ALL forms of our educational institutions. The whole community needs to help the authorities to prevent the warping of minds from a very tender age ,when its like a sapling and not wait until it has grown into a tree which is twisted but so strong that we feel helpless and unable to stop the damage which we can so easily sense is in the making. Sonoo Malkani
  • Score: 0

2:02am Wed 12 Jun 13

Sonoo Malkani says...

By the way,since Miss Hassan is a student at Kingston University would Harrow Times please correct the title of this article and not credit her as a HARROW student.
By the way,since Miss Hassan is a student at Kingston University would Harrow Times please correct the title of this article and not credit her as a HARROW student. Sonoo Malkani
  • Score: 0

7:57am Wed 12 Jun 13

ipsofacto says...

@Sonoo Malkani

Sadly (as other media sources have reported) she does live in Harrow. I will not name the street.

Just as bad is the fact that, given her age and where she is studying now, there is a high chance she was educated in the Borough as well.
@Sonoo Malkani Sadly (as other media sources have reported) she does live in Harrow. I will not name the street. Just as bad is the fact that, given her age and where she is studying now, there is a high chance she was educated in the Borough as well. ipsofacto
  • Score: 0

11:45am Thu 13 Jun 13

jackdaw says...

I have read this student is studying POLITCS at Kingston University. I hope she has learnt her lesson and will not make stupid and offensive remarks in the future.

This is the kind of politician that the country and Harrow can do without.
I have read this student is studying POLITCS at Kingston University. I hope she has learnt her lesson and will not make stupid and offensive remarks in the future. This is the kind of politician that the country and Harrow can do without. jackdaw
  • Score: 0

3:25am Sun 16 Jun 13

Sonoo Malkani says...

I agree with Jackdaw.We could all do without the likes of her in the UK and especially in Harrow.

If this is her idea of a JOKE one wonders what she does during her study time.
I agree with Jackdaw.We could all do without the likes of her in the UK and especially in Harrow. If this is her idea of a JOKE one wonders what she does during her study time. Sonoo Malkani
  • Score: 0

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