Sidcup builder Stuart Gilroy gets suspended prison sentence for racist phone rants at Greenwich-born footballer Efe Sodje

Sidcup builder gets suspended prison sentence for racist phone rants at Greenwich-born footballer

Stuart Gilroy's actions have had "disastrous consequences".

Efe Sodje said he was worried for his safety after Gilroy's threatening messages.

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A BUILDER from Sidcup has been given a suspended prison sentence for leaving racially abusive messages on a Greenwich-born footballer’s answer phone while drunk.

Stuart Gilroy, 29, got hold of Macclesfield Town player and assistant manager Efe Sodje’s mobile number through a friend-of-a-friend.

He then left three separate messages on July 21 last year at 1.48am, 2.16am and 2.17am while onlookers could be heard sniggering in the background.

Bromley Magistrates’ Court heard on January 29 how Gilroy, of Stanhope Road, Sidcup, repeatedly swore in the messages which contained a string of racist abuse aimed at former Nigerian international defender Sodje.

Gilroy was sentenced to four weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

Afterwards, defence solicitor Christiana Briscoe told the court Gilroy had received death threats since the story first appeared in News Shopper.

She said: “He’s been receiving very similar threats to the ones he made and his father has moved him away from the area until this has died down.

“In many respects he has lost his family. His sister is a nurse who has dedicated her life to the NHS.

"She has worked with migrants coming into this country and she has refused point-blank to have anything to do with him.

“He has two brothers, one of whom is a banker and who has simply disowned him and will have absolutely nothing to do with him.”

Gilroy’s father Gary was in court to support his son, who was employed by his Sidcup-based building company GCG Contractors until news of the incident broke.

Ms Briscoe told the court the firm has a number of black labourers who “downed tools” and refused to work until the defendant was sacked.

He has since been dismissed from the firm.

District Judge Robert Hunter said: “I know this has had disastrous consequences for you in a personal way.

“Your family have shunned you because of this stupid drunken series of communications.

“I know this is out of character and you have no previous convictions.”

In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way.

“These messages have left me worried for my safety and worried for the safety of my family.

“My main concern is I don’t know who these people are or what they are capable of.”

Gilroy, who has written a letter of apology to Sodje, pleaded guilty on January 17 to three charges of leaving voicemail messages of a grievously offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing character under the Telecommunications Act.

He was ordered to pay his victim £250 compensation, pay £85 costs and do 200 hours of unpaid work.

Comments (11)

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4:28pm Thu 30 Jan 14

sarfflondonbird says...

"In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way."
I believe Stuart Gilroy is entitled to the same right then? If he is receiving death threats similar to the ones he made, as quoted above, then he is entitled to see justice carried out on his behalf. It should work both ways really shouldn't it? Equality and all that guff.
Also, what has this to do with the father? Why has he been dismissed from his job because of the antics of his stupid son? It wasn't his fault, I would take the company to court for unfair dismissal, if anything, Human Rights should be there to back his claim.
"In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way." I believe Stuart Gilroy is entitled to the same right then? If he is receiving death threats similar to the ones he made, as quoted above, then he is entitled to see justice carried out on his behalf. It should work both ways really shouldn't it? Equality and all that guff. Also, what has this to do with the father? Why has he been dismissed from his job because of the antics of his stupid son? It wasn't his fault, I would take the company to court for unfair dismissal, if anything, Human Rights should be there to back his claim. sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 34

5:01pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Gypo.Joe says...

Stuart Gilroy just another twunt who wouldn't say boo to a goose face to face.
Stuart Gilroy just another twunt who wouldn't say boo to a goose face to face. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: -22

5:33pm Thu 30 Jan 14

reasonable75 says...

sarfflondonbird wrote:
"In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way."
I believe Stuart Gilroy is entitled to the same right then? If he is receiving death threats similar to the ones he made, as quoted above, then he is entitled to see justice carried out on his behalf. It should work both ways really shouldn't it? Equality and all that guff.
Also, what has this to do with the father? Why has he been dismissed from his job because of the antics of his stupid son? It wasn't his fault, I would take the company to court for unfair dismissal, if anything, Human Rights should be there to back his claim.
I know the article (common for NS) isn't clear, but reading it a couple of times it looks like he (Stuart) was employed by his father (Gary), and it is Stuart who was sacked

Maybe
[quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: "In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way." I believe Stuart Gilroy is entitled to the same right then? If he is receiving death threats similar to the ones he made, as quoted above, then he is entitled to see justice carried out on his behalf. It should work both ways really shouldn't it? Equality and all that guff. Also, what has this to do with the father? Why has he been dismissed from his job because of the antics of his stupid son? It wasn't his fault, I would take the company to court for unfair dismissal, if anything, Human Rights should be there to back his claim.[/p][/quote]I know the article (common for NS) isn't clear, but reading it a couple of times it looks like he (Stuart) was employed by his father (Gary), and it is Stuart who was sacked Maybe reasonable75
  • Score: 15

11:19pm Thu 30 Jan 14

ISaidThis says...

sarfflondonbird wrote:
"In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way."
I believe Stuart Gilroy is entitled to the same right then? If he is receiving death threats similar to the ones he made, as quoted above, then he is entitled to see justice carried out on his behalf. It should work both ways really shouldn't it? Equality and all that guff.
Also, what has this to do with the father? Why has he been dismissed from his job because of the antics of his stupid son? It wasn't his fault, I would take the company to court for unfair dismissal, if anything, Human Rights should be there to back his claim.
No-one's saying Gilroy isn't entitled to the same protection, are you implying that Sodje is the person making these newly-revealed-and-a
s-yet-unreported-to-
the-police death threats that Gilroy's brief brought up?
[quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: "In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way." I believe Stuart Gilroy is entitled to the same right then? If he is receiving death threats similar to the ones he made, as quoted above, then he is entitled to see justice carried out on his behalf. It should work both ways really shouldn't it? Equality and all that guff. Also, what has this to do with the father? Why has he been dismissed from his job because of the antics of his stupid son? It wasn't his fault, I would take the company to court for unfair dismissal, if anything, Human Rights should be there to back his claim.[/p][/quote]No-one's saying Gilroy isn't entitled to the same protection, are you implying that Sodje is the person making these newly-revealed-and-a s-yet-unreported-to- the-police death threats that Gilroy's brief brought up? ISaidThis
  • Score: 9

10:10am Fri 31 Jan 14

JoeBlobbs says...

"he's receiving very similar threats to the ones he made"

What goes around has come around in this case. Now he knows what it feels like to be victimised. Shame the sentence was suspended, I'd have sent him to HMP Brixton for a few weeks where I would bet my yearly salary this coward wouldn't have uttered a single racist comment.

Its a lot easier to be a big man on the end of a phone or on social media where one feels invisible and anonymous than it is to say such things face to face. At least his family can see him for what he is and want little to do with him.

So Mr Gilroy, was the embarrassment you have caused your family and your new found unemployed status really worth providing your mates with a laugh as you racially abused Sodje on the phone for no other reason than showing off after a few sherbets? What about the impact on your father's building firm? Most of our actions have wide reaching consequences and your stupidity in this instance has many. Lets see how many organisations or local councils want to be involved with GCG Contractors in the future. While undertaking Due Diligence on the firm prior to awarding sizable contracts this story will ring many alarm bells and may put off potential customers who would rather spend their money with a firm whose headlines relate to business activities rather than unsavoury behaviour. Not the best PR for a firm operating in multi cultural South East England is it. The victims here arent just Sodje and his family, it's also your family and the employees of GCG who may find the work drying up.
"he's receiving very similar threats to the ones he made" What goes around has come around in this case. Now he knows what it feels like to be victimised. Shame the sentence was suspended, I'd have sent him to HMP Brixton for a few weeks where I would bet my yearly salary this coward wouldn't have uttered a single racist comment. Its a lot easier to be a big man on the end of a phone or on social media where one feels invisible and anonymous than it is to say such things face to face. At least his family can see him for what he is and want little to do with him. So Mr Gilroy, was the embarrassment you have caused your family and your new found unemployed status really worth providing your mates with a laugh as you racially abused Sodje on the phone for no other reason than showing off after a few sherbets? What about the impact on your father's building firm? Most of our actions have wide reaching consequences and your stupidity in this instance has many. Lets see how many organisations or local councils want to be involved with GCG Contractors in the future. While undertaking Due Diligence on the firm prior to awarding sizable contracts this story will ring many alarm bells and may put off potential customers who would rather spend their money with a firm whose headlines relate to business activities rather than unsavoury behaviour. Not the best PR for a firm operating in multi cultural South East England is it. The victims here arent just Sodje and his family, it's also your family and the employees of GCG who may find the work drying up. JoeBlobbs
  • Score: -41

1:23pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Donna_T says...

Arternoon 'Joe' boi. LOL

I'm Leonie A Wiffen over on you know where. Oh my indigenous sides

I may well be June Brewer later too.
Arternoon 'Joe' boi. LOL I'm Leonie A Wiffen over on you know where. Oh my indigenous sides I may well be June Brewer later too. Donna_T
  • Score: -51

7:39pm Sat 1 Feb 14

sarfflondonbird says...

reasonable75 wrote:
sarfflondonbird wrote:
"In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way."
I believe Stuart Gilroy is entitled to the same right then? If he is receiving death threats similar to the ones he made, as quoted above, then he is entitled to see justice carried out on his behalf. It should work both ways really shouldn't it? Equality and all that guff.
Also, what has this to do with the father? Why has he been dismissed from his job because of the antics of his stupid son? It wasn't his fault, I would take the company to court for unfair dismissal, if anything, Human Rights should be there to back his claim.
I know the article (common for NS) isn't clear, but reading it a couple of times it looks like he (Stuart) was employed by his father (Gary), and it is Stuart who was sacked

Maybe
Yes you are right there, must have been a bit hasty when reading that part! I still don't think it right that because the others threatened to down tools, that he should have been sacked. If this had been one of the glorified footballers spouting racists remarks, would his team mates down tools till he was sacked? I don't think so, as proven in the past.
[quote][p][bold]reasonable75[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: "In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way." I believe Stuart Gilroy is entitled to the same right then? If he is receiving death threats similar to the ones he made, as quoted above, then he is entitled to see justice carried out on his behalf. It should work both ways really shouldn't it? Equality and all that guff. Also, what has this to do with the father? Why has he been dismissed from his job because of the antics of his stupid son? It wasn't his fault, I would take the company to court for unfair dismissal, if anything, Human Rights should be there to back his claim.[/p][/quote]I know the article (common for NS) isn't clear, but reading it a couple of times it looks like he (Stuart) was employed by his father (Gary), and it is Stuart who was sacked Maybe[/p][/quote]Yes you are right there, must have been a bit hasty when reading that part! I still don't think it right that because the others threatened to down tools, that he should have been sacked. If this had been one of the glorified footballers spouting racists remarks, would his team mates down tools till he was sacked? I don't think so, as proven in the past. sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 12

7:41pm Sat 1 Feb 14

sarfflondonbird says...

ISaidThis wrote:
sarfflondonbird wrote:
"In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way."
I believe Stuart Gilroy is entitled to the same right then? If he is receiving death threats similar to the ones he made, as quoted above, then he is entitled to see justice carried out on his behalf. It should work both ways really shouldn't it? Equality and all that guff.
Also, what has this to do with the father? Why has he been dismissed from his job because of the antics of his stupid son? It wasn't his fault, I would take the company to court for unfair dismissal, if anything, Human Rights should be there to back his claim.
No-one's saying Gilroy isn't entitled to the same protection, are you implying that Sodje is the person making these newly-revealed-and-a

s-yet-unreported-to-

the-police death threats that Gilroy's brief brought up?
No.
[quote][p][bold]ISaidThis[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: "In a statement read to the court Sodje, who played for his country against England at the 2002 World Cup, said: “No person has the right to racially abuse me and threaten me or my family in this way." I believe Stuart Gilroy is entitled to the same right then? If he is receiving death threats similar to the ones he made, as quoted above, then he is entitled to see justice carried out on his behalf. It should work both ways really shouldn't it? Equality and all that guff. Also, what has this to do with the father? Why has he been dismissed from his job because of the antics of his stupid son? It wasn't his fault, I would take the company to court for unfair dismissal, if anything, Human Rights should be there to back his claim.[/p][/quote]No-one's saying Gilroy isn't entitled to the same protection, are you implying that Sodje is the person making these newly-revealed-and-a s-yet-unreported-to- the-police death threats that Gilroy's brief brought up?[/p][/quote]No. sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 22

12:37pm Sun 2 Feb 14

C.Rodders.Jefferson says...

Well mates we lost out on the £389K the sons got the money. Looks like its all over now for the BNP.


Send more money....Clive.
Well mates we lost out on the £389K the sons got the money. Looks like its all over now for the BNP. Send more money....Clive. C.Rodders.Jefferson
  • Score: -61

10:46am Mon 3 Feb 14

Gypo.Joe says...

Oh my sides Clive boi, I just read the same thing. Looks like the BNP may get dissolved like that KiloDelta thingy. LOL

I'm headed up Norf, see y'all there. I'm going to be slap head Brewer today, they love him in the grim north,

ROFLMAO.
Oh my sides Clive boi, I just read the same thing. Looks like the BNP may get dissolved like that KiloDelta thingy. LOL I'm headed up Norf, see y'all there. I'm going to be slap head Brewer today, they love him in the grim north, ROFLMAO. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: -38

11:27am Tue 4 Feb 14

Gypo.Joe says...

Well I never Clive Rodney, looks like you touched a raw nerve son. -48 and climbing.

Just goes to show as my old Ma says, " never count ya chickens before they've hatched boi "

ROFLMAO ..KiloDelta !!
Well I never Clive Rodney, looks like you touched a raw nerve son. -48 and climbing. Just goes to show as my old Ma says, " never count ya chickens before they've hatched boi " ROFLMAO ..KiloDelta !! Gypo.Joe
  • Score: -26

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