News update: Man who posted Facebook comments about soldiers found guilty

ACCUSED: Azhar Ahmed.
ACCUSED: Azhar Ahmed.

A RAVENSTHORPE man accused of posting offensive online comments about the deaths of British soldiers has been found guilty.

Azhar Ahmed will be sentenced at a later date.

Azhar Ahmed arriving at Kirklees Magistrates Court in Huddersfield today.

Azhar Ahmed arriving at Kirklees Magistrates Court in Huddersfield today.

Ahmed said he got ‘carried away’ when he made the comments on social networking site Facebook on March 8 this year.

Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard that six British soldiers had been killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan two days earlier.

Ahmed wrote about the media attention given to the deaths and questioned why more coverage was not given to civilians killed.

He went on to say: “All soldiers should die and go to hell.”

Soon after, he received numerous abusive online comments about his post.

Complaints were made to police and an unconnected family needed protection after their address was incorrectly posted online as being Ahmed’s home.

Ahmed, 20, of Fir Avenue, denied sending an offensive message by a public communication website. The court heard he accepted posting the comment, but not that it was grossly offensive.

Ahmed said: “I wasn’t thinking, ‘I’m happy they’ve died’. It was just, like, what about those other people who have died? I just wanted to bring a little attention to those innocent families.”

He said the comments were not aimed at British soldiers or their families, but at anyone involved in violence.

He said he regretted any upset it had caused, and had apologised to some people who posted comments on his Facebook page in response to his own.

Asked whether his original comment was grossly offensive, he said: “No. I would say it was just upsetting and very distressing.”