A law student who sent Stan Collymore a series of racist tweets has been spared jail.
Joshua Cryer, 21, admitted using the social networking site to bombard the football pundit with abuse in an attempt to “snare a celebrity”, a district judge at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard today.
Cryer told police he hoped to gain a reaction from Collymore, who is a broadcaster for talkSport, campaigns against racism and is a supporter of the Depression Alliance charity.
The Newcastle University student, who lives in the Jesmond area of the city, claimed his account had been hacked.
He later admitted a charge under section 127 of the Communications Act of sending grossly offensive messages.
District Judge Stephen Earl ordered that he complete a two-year community order with 240 hours unpaid work, and pay £150 (€180) costs to the court.
Cryer, from Burnley, Lancashire, was arrested in January after Collymore, a former England striker, reported online abuse to Staffordshire Police and they passed the matter to their Northumbria Police counterparts.
Collymore, 41, originally from Cannock, Staffordshire, played for a string of top clubs, including Liverpool, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.
Following the sentence, Collymore posted on his Twitter account @StanCollymore: “Would like to thank Northumbria & Staffordshire Police for their professionalism in dealing with this case.”