The football fan who sent an abusive Twitter message to Premier League referee and cancer survivor Mark Halsey following last weekend's Liverpool v Manchester United game has been cautioned by police.
Liverpool supporter John Wareing, a 27-year-old man from the north-east, tweeted: "I hope Mark Halsey gets cancer again and dies", after the official sent off Reds midfielder Jonjo Shevley and handed United a late penalty that gave Sir Alex Ferguson's side a 2-1 win at Anfield.
Commenting on the incident, DS Tony Lunt of Greater Manchester police said: "Clearly the victim and his family were very distressed by the extremely offensive comments posted on Twitter. We take all reports of abuse on social networking sites very seriously as these remarks can and do have a devastating impact on people's lives.
"As a result of our investigation, we have cautioned a man who has admitted responsibility for some of the messages. This individual was very apologetic and realises that in a moment of stupidity he posted deeply derogatory remarks about the victim and completely regrets his actions.
"Twitter, like all social networking sites, can be a fantastic tool for people to communicate but it must not be abused to the detriment of decent hard-working people who may be in the public eye. Our inquiries are ongoing to identify anyone else who posted these offensive messages."