Paul Bussetti has just been given a 10-week suspended jail sentence for burning a model of Grenfell Tower (The tower in London that caught fire in 2017 killing 72 people).

Having read that BBC article and some others (Guardian, LBC) no one has said what law(s) he broke.

What law(s) has he broken?

  • 2
    Related news article about an earlier trial (linked at the bottom of your article) says Mr Bussetti, of South Norwood, was accused of sending "grossly offensive" material via a public communications network.
    – Caius Jard
    Apr 20, 2022 at 13:25
  • 1
    @CaiusJard ah thank you, sending "grossly offensive" material lead me to this jmw.co.uk/services-for-business/business-crime/…
    – Sam Dean
    Apr 20, 2022 at 13:30

1 Answer 1


The first sentence of the cited article reads:

A man has admitted sharing a grossly offensive video of a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire.

Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 seems to be the most relevant offence:

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a)sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive...

However, there's also similar offence under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988:

(1)Any person who sends to another person—

(a)a letter, electronic communication or article of any description which conveys—

  • (i)a message which is indecent or grossly offensive;

(b) [...]

is guilty of an offence if his purpose, or one of his purposes, in sending it is that it should, so far as falling within paragraph (a) or (b) above, cause distress or anxiety to the recipient or to any other person to whom he intends that it or its contents or nature should be communicated...

Both charges seem available on the information provided, so it was up to the Crown Prosecution Service to pick the most likely to succeed.

  • "it was up to the Crown Prosecution Service to pick the most likely to succeed": Is it not the CPS's duty to prosecute both crimes and leave the rest to the court?
    – phoog
    Apr 20, 2022 at 21:30
  • @phoog Not when the sentence for the easer to prove crime is at least as large. Apr 20, 2022 at 22:31
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    @phoog it’s up to the CP to choose whether to prosecute none, either, or both
    – Dale M
    Apr 20, 2022 at 22:32
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    @phoog According to the mainstream media there's only one offence (ie one actus reus), but it falls under two seperate pieces of legislation each with their own points to prove and maximum sentencing provisions. The CPS might've laid them as alternative charges on the indictment, but he could only be convicted for one, not both. It's like convicting someone of murder, manslaughter, assault, and battery for a single death (but things may be different in the USA).
    – user35069
    Apr 21, 2022 at 14:58

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