By Paul Sims
Last updated at 1:46 AM on 24th January 2012
A university law student is to face court over claims he racially abused ex-England footballer Stan Collymore on Twitter.
Joshua Cryer, 21, was arrested after the former Liverpool striker turned radio pundit contacted police earlier this month.
Cryer, a final year student at Newcastle University’s acclaimed Law School, is accused of sending two racist ‘tweets’ to the ex-player.
The amateur footballer, whose father is a company director, was held by officers after Collymore was allegedly abused on January 6.
One message, sent from user @joshuacryer1, read: ‘Has anyone ever called you Stan ****ymore.’
A second message read: ‘Has anyone ever referred to you as semi pro as in a semi pro ****.’
Collymore, who received three caps for England during his playing career, re-tweeted the messages to his 170,000 followers before sending a message back.
He reportedly replied: ‘Not having this c**p anymore. Joshua, I see you’ve deleted your tweets. I haven’t.
‘Not having it any more, it’s virtually every day now.
‘Two officers from Staffordshire Police have been and they have a statement and evidence.
‘In the process of reporting you to Newcastle Police for racist abuse, which is in contravention of UK law. See you in court.’
The ‘JoshuaCryer1’ account was deleted after the tweets were sent. Cryer’s name and mobile phone number were later posted on football forums.
Cryer, from Burnley, Lancashire, was due to make his first appearance before magistrates in Newcastle yesterday morning but was excused and the case adjourned.
He will now appear before the court on February 14 accused of a Section Five public order offence.
Cryer was originally charged with a Section Five racial public order offence and a further public order offence but the charges have since been amended to include just one offence.
Moments after receiving the abusive tweets Collymore, who has played for Liverpool, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, contacted Staffordshire Police to make a formal complaint.
He gave them a statement and showed them the offensive messages before the case was passed to Northumbria Police.
Collymore, a campaigner against racism and a supporter of the charity Depression Alliance, claims he has repeatedly faced racist abuse via Twitter.
He called in a lawyer at the end of last year after receiving dozens of racist insults via Twitter.
The talkSPORT presenter tweeted: ‘Called a lawyer mate who I asked to monitor my feed. At least 150 actionable offences.’
He warned that racist views are ‘entrenched’ and not just held by ‘a knuckle-dragging minority’.
It comes after a series of controversial incidents both on and off the pitch involving allegations of racism.
Liverpool’s Luis Saurez was handed an eight-match ban in December amid claims he made a racist remark to Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
Off the pitch two teenagers were arrested in November after Newcastle United’s 19-year-old player Sammy Ameobi claimed he too was the victim of racism on Twitter. They have since been bailed.
In the most recent case police in Strathclyde are investigating racist Twitter messages sent to two black Rangers players.
Collymore, however, refuses to stop using the social networking tool. ‘There is no way I will ever leave Twitter, despite all the stick that comes my way,’ he wrote.
Cryer, whose father, Michael, runs his own chauffeur business in Burnley, is captain of the university’s intra-mural side, Barca-Law-Na, and has played for several amateur sides.
Last night, a spokesman for Newcastle University said: ‘We can confirm that Northumbria Police have charged one of our students in connection with sending racist messages on Twitter and we are co-operating on this matter.
‘Newcastle University does not tolerate any form of racist behaviour by any of its staff or students and we have strict disciplinary procedures in place.’