North East man to be charged with online abuse of Premier League star Ivan Toney

A North East man is due in court after a Premier League footballer was allegedly racially abused online.

Northumbria Police, supported by the Metropolitan Police, launched a full investigation back in October 2022 after Brentford striker Ivan Toney shared via his Twitter account a picture of an abusive message that he had received.

The message, which officers are treating as a hate crime, was traced to a suspect living in the North Shields area.

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He was subsequently located and interviewed under caution in connection with the offence.

Ivan Toney

Now, the 24-year-old has been served with a postal requisition to appear before magistrates in Newcastle later on January 25, where he will be formally charged with sending a message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.

‘Totally unacceptable’

Superintendent Scott Cowie, hate crime lead for Northumbria Police, said: “There is absolutely no place for discrimination of any kind in society – whether that’s within our communities or online.

“Hate crime in any form is totally unacceptable, and as a Force, we are committed to taking appropriate action against anybody found to be spreading this type of abuse.

“We would like to thank the victim for his support and cooperation throughout this case, as well as our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police who assisted our enquiries.

“Anyone who receives online abuse or believes they have been a victim of a hate crime is asked to always report it, so it can be fully investigated.

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“We’d also ask members of the public who see, read or hear any offensive, racist or homophobic language at fixtures or online to get in touch with us.”