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Teenager admits racist abuse of footballer

|News, Hate crime

A teenager has pleaded guilty to racially abusing footballer Tyreik Wright.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted his guilt at his first hearing today (7 October 2021) at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

On 22 February 2021, the teenager posted racist abuse directed towards Tyreik Wright on social media. When challenged by members of the public, the teenager subsequently posted further racist comments.

The matter was referred to the police, and the teenager was arrested. He initially denied the offence during the police interview, but later admitted the offence.

He was then charged with a single count of sending a grossly offensive message by public communication network. Today at Birmingham Magistrates' Court, he was handed a 12-month referral order, a restraining order for 12 months, and was ordered to pay compensation of £500, prosecution costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £22.

Israr Habib of the CPS said: “I hope this case sends an important message out that racist abuse will not be tolerated. CPS West Midlands is working closely with the West Midlands Police Force Football Unit and their dedicated Hate Crime Football Officer to ensure that individuals who commit these types of offences are brought to justice.”

The CPS is currently working with the police, clubs, player bodies and organisations, like the Premier League, the English Football League and the Football Association to explain what evidence we need to pass our threshold for charging. This will help clubs and the leagues protect their players by ensuring we get everything we need to build the strongest cases.

Elizabeth Jenkins of the CPS continued: “There is no room in the game, nor elsewhere, for racism. Where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest, we will prosecute such cases and seek an increased sentenced on conviction.

“Hate crimes such as these have a massive impact on players and their mental health. The CPS takes this kind of offending very seriously and this case shows that where offensive content is reported to the police we can successfully bring offenders to justice.”

Notes to editors

  • Israr Habib is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands
  • Elizabeth Jenkins is the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West and the CPS national sports lead prosecutor.

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