Josh Cryer has admitted to sending abusive messages to Stan Collymore via Twitter.
The Law student pleaded guilty to the charge of sending ‘grossly offensive’ messages to the former Liverpool, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest striker at Newcastle Magistrates Court last Wednesday.
The 21-year-old from Burnley, Lancashire, had previously entered a ‘not guilty’ plea to the charge of contravening section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 at a court hearing on 14 February this year.
He changed his plea to ‘guilty’ following a court hearing held at Magistrates court on Market Street last week.
The former Barca La Naw captain, who was absent from his team’s clash with Lokomotiv on the Longbenton 3G last Wednesday, was granted unconditional bail. A pre-sentence report will be now be compiled by probation officers.
He is due to re-appear before Magistrates in Newcastle on 21 March.
A Newcastle University spokesperson said: “Newcastle University has strict disciplinary procedures in place to deal with any illegal conduct from our students.
“A University disciplinary panel will meet to discuss this case and recommend the appropriate action.”
Collymore reacted to the incident by tweeting last Thursday: “J Cryer pleaded guilty yesterday and will be sentenced on 21st March at Newcastle Magistrates.”
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, when Cryer is sentenced on 21 March he could be “liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine or both”.
Cryer was arrested by Northumbria Police on 6 January after Collymore, a talkSPORT pundit, alerted Staffordshire police that he had received two offensive messages on the social networking site from a mobile phone and iPad from the account @JoshuaCryer1, which has since been deactivated.
The messages were ended with ‘hastags’ including #greatracistabuse and #neitherwhitenorblack.
In response, Collymore tweeted: “@JoshuaCryer1 In the process of reporting you to Newcastle Police for racist abuse, which is in contravention of UK law. See you in court.”
Overnight, the name Joshua Cryer became a ‘trending topic’ on the website, meaning he was one of the most talked about people in the country.
Personal information such as his mobile phone number, details of his Facebook account and his university email account were released over the internet, particularly spread through football blogging sites.
A message was then posted from the @JoshuaCryer1 account, denying the allegations and suggesting the tweets had been made by somebody else. It read: “@StanCollymore apologies for all the abusive tweets just been notified about it these do not represent my views #notafunnytwape”.
Since the case begn, Cryer has still been attending university and has continued to play Intra Mural football for Barca Law Na, despite being stripped of the captaincy earlier this year. Ken Ickle, his former manager at amateur football side Borrowdale United FC in Burnley said: “I am quite happy to say that Josh Cryer was a very good player, he was loyal to the club and to his manager. He was well liked and never caused us one ounce of trouble. I wish he was still playing.”