Footballer to not face charges over anti-gay tweet to Tom Daley

Welsh soccer player will not face charges after posting homophobic abuse to the Olympic diving partners

Footballer to not face charges over anti-gay tweet to Tom Daley
20 September 2012

Welsh footballer Daniel Thomas will not face charges after tweeting homophobic abuse about British Olympic divers Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has ruled out prosecuting Thomas today (20 September), saying it was a ‘one-off offensive Twitter message’.

The full statement reads: ‘This was, in essence, a one-off offensive Twitter message, intended for family and friends, which made its way into the public domain.

‘It was not intended to reach Mr Daley or Mr Waterfield, it was not part of a campaign, it was not intended to incite others and Mr Thomas removed it reasonably swiftly and has expressed remorse.’

The statement continued: ‘Chief Crown Prosecutor for Wales, Jim Brisbane concluded that on a full analysis of the context and circumstances in which this single message was sent, it was not so grossly offensive that criminal charges need to be brought.

‘Before reaching a final decision in this case, Mr Daley and Mr Waterfield were consulted by the CPS and both indicated that they did not think this case needed a prosecution.’

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said they will devise new guidelines on social media cases to aid prosecutors.

The tweet, originally sent on Thomas’  Twitter account read: ‘If there is any consolation for finishing fourth at least Daley and Waterfield can go and bum each other #teamHIV.’

Thomas denied sending the message on Twitter at first, blaming the incident on a ‘misguided prank’ after he left his phone unattended.

After the tweet, Port Talbot Town FC issued an immediate apology for the comments which appeared on Thomas’ Twitter feed.

‘Both the player and club wish to apologise unreservedly to those offended and in no way condone such views,’ the football club’s statement read.

‘All footballers at Port Talbot Town will also be briefed on the appropriate use of social media and ensuring it is used securely and responsibly.’

Daley won a bronze medal in the 10m diving at the London 2012 Games, while Waterfield walked away empty handed.

The UK government revealed a report yesterday (19 September) which named homophobia as ‘the biggest problem in football’.

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