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Pair warned over Sammy Ameobi race tweets


Two teenage friends who racially abused Newcastle United footballer Sammy Ameobi on Twitter have been given final warnings by police, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

The 17-year-olds were arrested in November after the up-and-coming 19-year-old forward was called a "n****r" on the social networking site.

It was understood one youth made the initial comment and his friend followed it up with a supportive tweet which also had a racial element.

The decision not to prosecute the pair was taken after consultation with Ameobi - the younger brother of fellow Newcastle striker Shola - and the football club.

Both youths have admitted their involvement and accepted final warnings at a Northumbria Police youth surgery yesterday.

They were spoken to by a senior police officer and were warned of the consequences if they reoffend.

Wendy Williams, District Crown Prosecutor at CPS North East, said: "The CPS understands the serious nature of racist crime and the real and lasting effects it can have, not just on individuals and their families, but also upon communities and society as a whole.

"Our policy is to prosecute racist and religious crime fairly, firmly and robustly. In deciding what constitutes 'fairness' for such cases, the views of the victim themselves are incredibly important."

She said a final warning was appropriate given the previous good character of the two youths involved.

Superintendent Gillian Mitchell said: "Northumbria Police will not tolerate racist behaviour of any kind and takes all reports of such incidents very seriously.

"Such criminal activity is totally unacceptable and, as this incident demonstrates, we will seek to arrest anyone who carries out such crimes - however they are committed - and bring them to justice."

A spokesman for the club said: "Newcastle United are pleased to note the action taken against the two youths who directed racist remarks towards Sammy Ameobi on the social networking site Twitter.

"The club takes such matters extremely seriously."