Police have arrested a 17-year-old in Weymouth, Dorset, on suspicion of sending “malicious communications” to the British diver Tom Daley.
The communications in question were alleged Tweets which Daley said he had been sent after he and Pete Waterfield failed to win a medal in the 10m synchronised diving competition.
The first tweet, which the diver retweeted to his 792,000 followers on the social media site, told Daley: “You let your dad down i hope you know that.”
Daley’s father died of brain cancer last year and the 18-year-old diver had said he was inspired by that loss to try to win an Olympic medal.
On the face of it, while grossly offensive and showing a lack of taste and decency which no human being could be proud of, that Tweet would not merit prosecution. After all, many public figures receive offensive Tweets all the time. You only have to look at some of the messages sent to leading business figures such as @rupertmurdoch, who choose to inhabit the Twittersphere.