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University bans student jailed for mocking footballer Fabrice Muamba on Twitter


Liam Stacey, the student jailed for making racist comments on Twitter following the collapse of Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba

Liam Stacey, the student jailed for making racist comments on Twitter following the collapse of Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba

Liam Stacey, the student jailed for making racist comments on Twitter following the collapse of Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba

A STUDENT jailed for using Twitter to mock heart attack football star Fabrice Muamba was banned from university today for the rest of the year.

Liam Stacey, 21, was suspended from Swansea University in the wake of his public fall from grace.

He has been released from jail after serving half of a 56-day sentence for admitting racially aggravated public disorder.

University chiefs have imposed a full suspension on the final year biology student until the end of the academic year.

It includes a blanket ban on setting foot on the university campus over the same period.

Exceptionally, Stacey will be allowed to sit his final exams, as an external candidate, next year, one year late.

But he will not be allowed to sit them at university and, if successful, will not be invited to a traditional graduation ceremony.

Back home in Pontypridd after his release from jail, Stacey continues to suffer the after effects of his drunken behaviour.

He triggered revulsion when he posted "LOL (laugh out loud). F*** Muamba. He's dead!!!"

The tweet appeared as doctors fought to save Muamba's life and his plight was touching hearts around the world.

The Bolton Wanderers midfielder suffered a heart attack during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur on March 17.

Millions watched the match live on TV and were horrified when Muamba collapsed from what initially appeared to be a fatal attack.

While prayers were being said for Muamba worldwide a drunken Stacey turned to his Blackberry to post his tweet.

When that message attracted a barrage of criticism he replied with a series of racist tweets.

Stacey is due to make a public apology to the football star tonight in a BBC Wales interview in a late evening TV show.

University chiefs made it clear today that there is no place for racism at Swansea University.

A spokesman said: "The university would not normally make public the outcome of any disciplinary proceedings, but in this case we are doing so with the agreement of the student.

"The student concerned remains suspended for the remainder of this academic year and is not allowed to return to campus, but he will be given the opportunity to sit his final exams as an external candidate next year at another venue and, if successful, to graduate in absentia.

"He will remain excluded from the campus. Swansea University deplores racism and has policies in place to ensure equality for staff and students."

He added: "We take the actions of this student very seriously, which is why he is no longer part of our campus community. We are mindful that he has been given a prison sentence, and therefore has already paid a price for his actions.

"He has expressed genuine remorse and we are satisfied that he understands that his behaviour was unacceptable, and damaging to the university.

"Given the sanctions he has already faced and the contrition he has shown, and that he is a final year student, we have taken the exceptional decision to allow him to sit his exams."

Stacey speaks publicly on TV this evening in his first interview since his release from prison.

In an interview with BBC Wales's Week In Week Out programme, to be broadcast at 10.25pm, he says: "I had had a lot to drink.

"I only heard the news about Muamba during the England vs Ireland game, or just after that and, I don't know why, I decided to tweet about it."

Stacey describes his actions as a "stupid, massive, massive mistake and I've paid a big price for it".

He tells the programme: "What I struggle to get my head around was the week or two before I was just a normal kid getting on with my work in university, getting on with life, playing rugby with all my mates, then a week or two later I was just going to prison, everything had been turned upside down."

Stacey will also use the interview to apologise for the first time to Muamba.