Sentencing of Irish teenager who racially abused Ian Wright pushed back

The sentencing hearing for an Irish teenager who racially abused former England footballer Ian Wright has been postponed after the court received a five-page probation report.

Patrick O’Brien, 18, had been due to be sentenced at Tralee District Court in Co Kerry on Wednesday but the case was pushed back until next week.

O’Brien’s solicitor Patrick Mann described the probation report as “very helpful”.

Solicitor Patrick Mann
Solicitor Patrick Mann

Judge David Waters remanded O’Brien, who was not in court, on continuing bail until Wednesday February 3.

O’Brien, of Sycamore Court, Ashleigh Downs, Tralee, abused Mr Wright in private messages on Instagram last May after he lost a Fifa game on PlayStation.

He pleaded guilty to two charges: harassing Mr Wright on May 11 contrary to the Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997, and sending a message by phone that was grossly offensive, obscene and menacing.

Mr Wright made the messages public, posting them on his social media and expressing his disappointment.

In a statement to the court last year the football pundit said he was emotional and shook up by the intensity of the abuse, adding that he had experienced racism years ago, but he was in shock to experience it now.

But he also said he forgave the Kerry teenager.

The 57-year-old was a prolific goal scorer, most notably with Arsenal, where he won the Premier League title.

He earned 33 caps for the England national team, scoring nine goals.

After his retirement from professional football, he became a popular pundit appearing on BBC, ITV and BT Sport.