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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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Carlisle United star quits Twitter after racist abuse

A Carlisle United player who received threats on Twitter appears to have been the subject of yet more vile, racist Tweets.

Courtney Meppen-Walter photo
Courtney Meppen-Walter

The News & Star understands that Courtney Meppen-Walter has now deleted his Twitter account as a result.

Police have confirmed that an investigation into claims of racial and malicious comments directed towards the former Manchester City youth player via social media is ongoing.

They were brought to the attention of officers by concerned Blues’ fans and other members of the public.

A police spokesman said: “Cumbria Constabulary wishes to reassure the public that we will not tolerate any such comments on social media platforms and will actively investigate any such behaviour.”

The News & Star reported how slurs were directed at Mr Meppen-Walter personally and threats made against his family on the social media site Twitter, which were first reported to police on February 12.

Much of the abuse centred on an incident in 2012 when the defender caused the deaths of two people in Manchester while driving carelessly. Mr Meppen-Walter served eight months of a 16-month prison sentence and joined United just days after his release last November.

Blues fans took to Twitter to alert police to the comments, which appeared to have come from a single account.

However, a string of further vile and racist Tweets, seen by the News & Star, appear to have been sent to Mr Meppen-Walter on February 19 – again from a single account which has since been deleted.

The police statement added: “Cumbria Constabulary confirms that an investigation into alleged racial and malicious comments made on social media towards a Carlisle United footballer is ongoing. Reports were received from concerned members of the public.”

Carlisle United previously confirmed it was aware of the messages but a spokesman has since said it would be inappropriate to make any further comment while the police investigation is ongoing.

The club issued an earlier statement confirming it was working with police on the matter. It added: “We would like to thank Cumbria police for the swift and professional manner in which they have responded to what is a very sensitive issue.”

Carlisle United fans offered Mr Meppen-Walter a show of support following the original volley of abuse.

Liam Kendall tweeted the defender to say: “This is absolutely disgusting. All of Carlisle are behind you.”

And following the second barrage of vile tweets, supporters again backed the player.

LJ Whitaker wrote: “There’s a lot of love for @meppenwalter tonight. Focus on that Courtney!”

Vicci Thornley added: “Keep your head held high Courtney.”

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