Man cautioned for abusing referee
A man has been cautioned for sending abusive Twitter messages to a Premier League referee.
Mark Halsey made a complaint to police in his home town of Bolton about online posts sent after his officiating of Liverpool's home league defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
Mr Halsey, 51, sent off Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey in the first half of the match and awarded their opponents a late penalty which secured three points in the 2-1 victory.
It is understood that several messages referred in derogatory terms to Mr Halsey's recent battle against throat cancer.
Police said a 27-year-old man they interviewed from the Newcastle area admitted being responsible for some of the messages. He was subsequently cautioned.
Officers say they are continuing attempts to trace anyone else responsible for posting the abusive messages.
Mr Halsey made the complaint at about 5.50pm on Sunday. Officers met with him and launched the investigation into offences committed under the Malicious Communication Act.
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.
"Our inquiries are ongoing to identify anyone else who posted these offensive messages."