A TEENAGER who posted a racist poem on Facebook has been fined by magistrates who said the verse was ‘nasty’.

Charlotte Walker, of Kenwater Close, Leominster, pleaded guilty to one count of racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress in words or writing at Hereford Magistrates Court.

The court was told that the 19-year-old had found a poem online which made racist remarks about Muslims, Polish and black people and had posted it on her own Facebook page.

Sara Beddow, prosecuting, said: “After being posted on Facebook there were various likes within the Facebook community and 354 comments, with 10 incidents where it had been shared with others.

Police officers spoke to her and she said it was a rhyme she had found and had shared.”

In a police interview, she confirmed she had posted the poem to her page and left it there for a few hours but some of the comments began to cause concern and, after her mother advised her to delete it, she decided to do so.

“She did not give a reason for the post,” Miss Beddow said.

Chris Read, defending, said police had received an anonymous report about the ‘schoolchildren-type’ poem but no formal complaint had been made.

“It had not been published in the commonly accepted sense of the word, and only people acquainted with her would ever have seen it,” he said.

“It was clocking up likes but, despite that, having realised something was going on and after speaking to her mother, she took it down.

“This was available for people to see for less than 24 hours.”

He said despite the racial element of the post, it was not her intent to be racist.

He added that the action was not ‘pre-meditated or planned’ and that Walker had been through a very difficult time recently.

The court heard she was already serving two community orders, which she was complying with to the best of her ability.

Lavinia Sole, chair of the bench, said the poem was “not funny at all’ and could have ‘grossly insulted a lot of people”.

“We are a multi-cultural society and this is not acceptable behaviour for anybody,” she said.

Magistrates fined Walker £75, ordered her to pay £135 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.