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Ref’s Twitter Abuser Cautioned

Police caution man who abused Premiership ref after Man Utd match

Published on September 27th 2012.

Ref’s Twitter Abuser Cautioned

POLICE have cautioned a 27-year-old Newcastle man who took to Twitter to abuse referee Mark Halsey following Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool.

GMP launched the investigation after Mr Halsey made a formal complaint over the comments made on the social-networking site which referenced the referee’s battle with cancer in 2009.

The unnamed man admitted to making the abusive comments when interviewed under caution by police. Inquiries remain ongoing to trace anyone else who may be responsible for posting the offensive messages.

The sickening tirade was sparked during Sunday’s Premiership match between the two great North West rivals in red. A match which began with a moving tribute to the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster following the publication of long campaigned for reports.

The messages surfaced after Halsey sent off Liverpool’s Jonjo Shelvey in the first half for a dangerous tackle, before awarding Man United a late penalty which Robin van Persie scored to seal United’s victory.

Of the event Detective Sergeant Tony Lunt said: "Clearly the victim and his family were very distressed by the extremely offensive comments posted on Twitter.

"We take all reports of abuse on social networking sites very seriously as these remarks can and do have a devastating impact on people’s lives.

"As a result of our investigation, we have cautioned a man who has admitted responsibility for some of the messages. This individual was very apologetic and realises that in a moment of stupidity he posted deeply derogatory remarks about the victim and completely regrets his actions.

"Twitter, like all social networking sites, can be a fantastic tool for people to communicate but it must not be abused to the detriment of decent hard-working people who may be in the public eye. Our inquiries are ongoing to identify anyone else who posted these offensive messages."

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