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article imagePolice arrest teen who abused Team GB diver Tom Daley on Twitter

article:329725:14::0
By Milo Noblet     Jul 31, 2012 in Sports
Dorset Police say they have arrested a teenager after the Twitter user @Rileyy_69 accused Team GB diver Tom Daley of letting down his father, who had recently passed away. The teen also threatened to drown Daley in a swimming pool.
Dorset Police @dorsetpolice
"Regarding tweets to @tomdaley1994 – 17-year-old man arrested this morning at a guest house in the Weymouth area. Enquiries continue."
31 Jul 12
Daley and his diving partner Pete Waterfield missed out on a medal when they finished fourth in the men’s 10m platform synchronised diving event at this year’s London Olympics.
Shortly after, Daley retweeted a post from Rileyy69 which said:
ЯIᄂΣY JЦПIӨЯ @Rileyy_69
"@tomdaley1994 you let your dad down i hope you know that"
30 Jul 12
When news spread of the insensitive tweet, the teen attempted to apologise:
ЯIᄂΣY JЦПIӨЯ @Rileyy_69
"@tomdaley1994 I’m sorry mate i just wanted you to win cause its the olympics I’m just annoyed we didn’t win I’m sorry tom accept my apology"
30 Jul 12
He then claimed he hadn’t known that Tom’s dad had passed away, and locked his account. Later he reopened the account and began sending more abuse to Tom, including a threat to “drown [Daley] in the pool”.
ЯIᄂΣY JЦПIӨЯ @Rileyy_69
"@tomdaley1994 i’m going to find you and i’m going to drown you in the pool you cocky t*** your a nobody people like you make me sick"
30 Jul 12
ЯIᄂΣY JЦПIӨЯ @Rileyy_69
"@_ollyriley i dont give a s*** bruv i’m gonna drown him and i’m gonna shoot you he failed why you suporting him you c***"
30 Jul 12
The Twitter user then appeared to think that him being reported on by the media amounted to harassment
ЯIᄂΣY JЦПIӨЯ @Rileyy_69
"@skynews you f****** report me on the news again i’ll have you done for harrassment and a lawsuit you get me final chance you c****"
30 Jul 12
Parts of the swear words that Rileyy_69 used have been censored with asterisks, to avoid causing offence.
Rileyy_69 then tried to use freedom of speech to defend himself, not realising that the right to freedom of speech and expression is actually a qualified right, meaning the Government can interfere with it where necessary. For example, the Twitter user is now liable to prosecution for harassing Daley, and for threatening to drown him.
The following laws apply in this situation:
Protection from Harassment Act 1997 - states that it is unlawful to cause harassment, alarm or distress by a course of conduct and states that ‘A person must not pursue a course of conduct, which:
- amounts to harassment of another
- he knows, or ought to know, amounts to harassment of the other.’
The police have successfully used the Protection from Harassment Act to prosecute for the sending of offensive e-mails through the internet. Such messages will also constitute an offence under the Malicious Communications Act.
Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 - A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he/she
- uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour; or
- displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.
Malicious Communications Act 1998/Telecommunications Act 1984 - it is an offence to send an indecent, offensive or threatening letter, electronic communication or other article to another person. Under section 43 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 it is a similar offence to send a telephone message which is indecent, offensive or threatening.
Communications Act 2003 - Section 127 states that a person is guilty of an offence if he/she sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or
causes any such message or matter to be so.
A person is guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another by means of a public electronic communications network, a message that he/she knows to be false,
- causes such a message to be sent; or
- persistently makes use of a public electronic communications network
Dorset Police confirmed they were investigating the incident:
Dorset Police @dorsetpolice
"Regarding tweets to @TomDaley1994 - We are aware of the issue and we are actively looking into it."
30 Jul 12
article:329725:14::0
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