Teenager charged after sending death threats to Premier League star

Brighton’s Neal Maupay, center, scores his side’s second goal past Arsenal’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez during the English Premier League soccer match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal at the AMEX Stadium in Brighton, England, Saturday, June 20, 2020. (Mike Hewitt, Pool via AP)

A teenager has been charged with harassment after he sent death threats to Brighton and Hove Albion striker Neal Maupay.

Derek Ng De Ren, 19, contacted Maupay four times over Instagram last year during June and July, shortly after Brighton’s 2-1 win over Arsenal in the Premier League.

During the match Maupay was involved in a collision with Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, which resulted in the latter being taken off on a stretcher.

Brighton won the match 2-1, with Maupay scoring the winning goal in stoppage time, before Arsenal players surrounded him at the final whistle in hot-tempered scenes, with midfielder Matteo Guendouzi even grabbing him by the throat.

Ng sent the first of his messages a few days later, in which he threatened Maupay’s family.

“You think you will get away for injuring Leno? No way in hell bruv…” he wrote. “But don’t worry you will be safe, you won’t be hurt. It’s more fun watching you feel pain when your loved ones go through suffering.”

Two days later he sent another message, reading: “Your family will be attacked later in the day, just watch”.

mxybazaveluj1d60900126841a2 Teenager charged after sending death threats to Premier League star
Maupay in action with Leeds United’s Luke Ayling and Pascal Struijk [Reuters, Mike Hewitt]

As per The Athletic, he followed that up with another at the beginning of July saying: “You think by reporting my account you’re safe? I will kill you and your family.”

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The Premier League released a statement in August claiming they believed they had tracked the location from which the messages were sent and had filed an official police complaint.

They also announced their intention to support Maupay through the legal proceedings, adding: “The Premier League takes online abuse seriously and is committed to supporting players, managers and their families who receive such messages.”

Ng is now being tried on four charges under the Protection from Harassment Act in Singapore for using “threatening words with the intent to cause distress”.

On Monday, the court heard that he plans to plead guilty to the charges, which could land him up to six months in jail for each offence.

He could also be fined a maximum of $5,000. His case has been adjourned until May 31.

The news comes on the weekend that football authorities have come together to boycott all forms of social media in protest against the lack of action done by various organisations to combat abuse on their platforms.

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