herald

Sunday 24 September 2017

Irish reality star Layla racially abused

IRISH reality star Layla Flaherty was a victim of online racial abuse.

The offender, Jon Grimes, from Kirkby, Liverpool has pleaded guilty to sending offensive messages to Layla.

Layla (28) shot to fame in the UK after appearing on mock-reality show Desperate Scousewives.

The Galway girl moved to Liverpool to further her career.

Grimes admitted sending the messages during a drunken rant on Twitter. Four messages were sent to Layla at around 12.15am on December 6, where he called her a "f****** monkey".

When one of her followers hit back at Grimes he was instantly met with homophobic abuse.

A close friend of Layla's told the Herald that she was "absolutely distraught" at the racist attack.

"It really upset her. Although you do see a lot of criticism and negative comments online, this was majorly overstepping the mark," they said. Layla immediately contacted her management agency Money North who then reported the incident to police. They tracked down Grimes (27) and arrested him on December 29.

He admitted sending the messages but claimed that he was drunk at the time.

Grimes was given community service at a Liverpool court. He has since apologised to the former psychology student, and was sentenced to 100 hours' unpaid work.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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