Social media troll Katie Bell jailed for mocking death of Birmingham City fan One Eyed Baz
Katie Bell abused Tracey Patterson - wife of Birmingham City fan One Eyed Baz - on social media
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A Twitter troll has been jailed for bombarding a grieving widow with sick messages, including a picture of a coffin and a message that read: "For your grandchild."
Katie Bell, 27, launched a sickening campaign of abuse against Tracey Patterson, widow of Barrington ‘Baz’ Patterson, who died after a ‘massive heart attack’. The martial arts expert, known as One Eyed Baz, was a notorious former Birmingham City hooligan and once starred on Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men.
Affectionately known as ‘one-eyed Baz’, he later worked tirelessly for the homeless and other charities alongside Tracey in his home city of Birmingham. Bell had previously been given a suspended sentence for two counts of stalking against Tracey and another victim.
And yesterday (Monday, July 3), she was jailed for breaching a court order to stop the abuse and continuing her onslaught against Tracey. Sheffield Crown Court heard that, despite the court orders Bell, posted a series of comments on news articles paying tribute to Baz following his death last March. She wrote: "Serves him right" and left another vile message which suggested ‘he should have been six-feet-under years ago’.
In a moving victim statement read to the court, Tracey detailed the distress Bell had subjected her to. She said it began with threats and one vile communication included a picture of a coffin and a message that read: "For your grandchild."
It continued with sick comments about her late husband, which Tracey left her in fear of what Bell ‘would do next’. She continued: "I will always believe that everyone deserves a second chance, but unfortunately, Ms Bell has wasted that chance."
Prosecutor Amy Earnshaw, told the court Bell had also continued malicious communications against other victims. She made a number of inflammatory comments across the social media pages of various news outlets and police forces, the court heard.
In response to an appeal to find a missing 15-year-old girl published by Merseyside Police in November 2022, Bell posted: "Serves her right if she is dead." Bell also responded to an appeal from the Metropolitan Police concerning a woman being stabbed by saying: "Serves her right."
She pleaded guilty to two breaches of a restraining order, breaching a suspended sentence order and a further charge of malicious communications.
Defending, Zaiban Alam said Bell had been the victim of bullying while at school and had gone on to be very socially-isolated in her adult life. Ms Alam told the court it was suggested that Bell would benefit from psychological intervention, but she’d not received any form of counselling. She said Bell carried out the breaches and malicious communication offence after losing her employment, leaving her ‘trapped in her room’.
Recorder Andrew Smith MBE said he previously suspended her sentence because ‘all the signs were there that you could be rehabilitated’. But jailing her to 15 months, he told her there was a ‘high risk’ she would carry out ‘further malicious communications’.
He said: "For that reason, these offences are so serious, that the only thing I can do with you is to lock you up." He dubbed Bell a ‘troll’ and said despite the threats and abuse she dished out, he did not believe there was ‘any risk’ of her going around and ‘confronting anybody’. He added: "I don’t think that’s the sort of person you are. You are too cowardly for that, you just sit behind a computer and wind people up."