Man Charged Over Abusive Twitter Message

A 33-year-old man has been charged with sending an abusive Twitter message to a professional footballer.

Matthew Smith, of Berry Way, Andover, Hampshire, has been charged with an offence under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

It relates to the sending of an abusive tweet directed at former Portsmouth footballer Tal Ben Haim.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment or a fine.

Stacey Turner, head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Wessex daytime charging unit, said:

''We have today authorised Hampshire Constabulary to charge Matthew Smith, aged 33, with an offence under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

''This follows the posting of an abusive message on Twitter directed at a professional football player who at the time the message was sent played for Portsmouth Football club.

''We have carefully considered the evidence provided to us by the police and are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute Matthew Smith with this offence.''

The defendant will appear at Andover Magistrates' Court on September 27.

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