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Law student pared jail. for racict insults; Judge describes actions as 'pathetic and immature'.

Byline: KIM CARMICHEAL

A TYNESIDE law student who bombarded former footballer Stan Collymore with racist messages has been spared jail.

Joshua Cryer, 21, admitted using the social networking site Twitter to send the football pundit abusive messages s in an attempt to "snare a celebrity", a district judge at Newcastle Magistrates' Court heard yesterday.

Cryer told police he hoped to gain a reaction from Collymore.

The Newcastle University student, who lives in student accommodation in Jesmond but gave his home address of Coldclough Lane, Burnley, claimed his account had been hacked, but 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 of unpaid work, and pay pounds 150 costs to the court.

Cryer was arrested in January after Collymore reported online abuse to Staffordshire Police and they passed the matter to their Northumbria Police counterparts.

Veronica Jordan, prosecuting, said Cryer, who is captain of a Newcastle University football team, was "showing off" and boasted to friends that he had "found a new hobby".

She said: "It was not impulsive.

"He has done this up to seven times over a period of days.

"That does not smack of impulsive behaviour. He was intending to insult and abuse." Passing sentence, Judge Earl said it would not serve society to send Cryer to jail but he had acted in a way which was "foolish, immature, and pathetic". Andrew O'Hanlon, defending, said: "He is not somebody I would regard as being a dyed-in-the-wool racist. The reason he contacted Collymore in the first place was he is a fan of his."

CAPTION(S):

VICTIM Stan Collymore GUILTY Joshua Cryer tweeted the former player
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 22, 2012
Words:291
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