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A ‘repulsive’ Instagram troll who taunted tragic PC Andrew Harper’s widow and told her 'it's hard to identify a body that's left in pieces' has walked free from court.
Milo Alejandro, 20, was given a suspended sentence after he posted sickening comments on Lissie Harper’s public Instagram profile last March.
Mrs Harper had lost her husband, 28-year-old traffic officer Andrew, two years earlier.
He was killed while trying to detain a teen trio towing a stolen quad bike. He got caught in the tow rope and was dragged behind the getaway car.
Londoner Alejandro left a slew of comments beneath pictures of Mrs Harper, her late husband and other family members.
They included the taunts "it’s hard to identify a body that’s left in pieces" and "go seek out your nan in hell Andrew you neek [slang for ‘nerd’ and ‘geek’]".
Sentencing Alejandro to 10 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for a year and a half on Thursday morning, Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram described his comments as some of the "most vile and repulsive" he had seen on the internet.
He noted that in the pre-sentence report] Alejandro said he "felt like s***" and that he had no control but "could bring someone else down."
“Whatever experiences you may or may not have had in relation to your dealings with the police, whatever views you had, this is one of the most serious offensive [comments] cases I have had the displeasure of dealing with," the judge said.
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In a victim personal statement Mrs Harper said she’d felt ‘sickened’ when she saw the comments on March 23 last year.
Mrs Harper, who lived in Wallingford with her husband Andrew before his death in August 2019, added: “There is often a misconception that abuse in the form of words on the screen cannot be as damaging as they would be in person. But I can tell you this is not true.”
She said: “The words linger in my mind and that same feeling of disgust remains.”
The court heard Alejandro had written a letter of apology to Mrs Harper. He said: “What I did was completely out of character and while I make no excuse for it, at the time I was not in a good mental state regarding my personal circumstances.”
Alejandro, from Ilford, pleaded guilty last month to sending a grossly offensive or indecent message on a public communications network.
Mr Ikram said he had come ‘extremely close’ to imposing an immediate custodial sentence. Alejandro was ordered to complete up to 25 rehabilitation days and 60 hours of unpaid work. He must pay £213 in costs and surcharge.
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