Man arrested in Blackpool after Wigan Athletic footballer is subjected to racist abuse online

A 20-year-old man from Sheffield has been arrested after a racially offensive message was sent to a Wigan Athletic footballer Nathan Byrne on Twitter on Saturday, April 6.
A 20-year-old man from Sheffield has been arrested after a racially offensive message was sent to a Wigan Athletic footballer Nathan Byrne on Twitter on Saturday, April 6.
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A 20-year-old man has been arrested in Blackpool after a Wigan Athletic footballer was subjected to racist abuse online.

The man handed himself in to Blackpool Police Station on Saturday evening (April 6) after a racist message had been sent to Wigan Athletic footballer Nathan Byrne on social media.

The man, from Sheffield, had already been questioned by South Yorkshire police over the incident on Saturday afternoon, before handing himself into police in Blackpool later that day.

He was swiftly arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and malicious communications.

It is believed the man sent the message whilst he was on a visit to Blackpool.

Defender Byrne shared the abusive message he had received on his personal Twitter account after playing in Wigan Athletic's 2-2 draw with Bristol City on Saturday.

Wigan Athletic said it was "angered" by what had happened and had immediately reported the matter to police.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "Following an incident where a racially offensive message was sent to a Wigan Athletic footballer on Twitter, a 20-year-old man from Sheffield contacted the police and then handed himself into Blackpool Police Station on Saturday evening (April 6th).

"He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and malicious communications.

"It is believed that the message was sent by someone whilst they were in Lancashire.

"The man has since been released under investigation pending a charging decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

"We have kept the victim and the football club updated on this development.

"Once we are able to update you on the CPS’ decision, we will."

In a statement, South Yorkshire Police added: “An investigation has been launched following reports of a racist tweet being sent to Wigan FC player Nathan Byrne, on Saturday, April 6.

“A 20-year-old man has been arrested under suspicion of sending malicious communication and remains in custody. Enquiries are ongoing.”