Man admits footballer tweets

A man from Cheltenham has admitted sending offensive messages to two Northampton Town football players. Ben Townsend, 25, pleaded guilty to two charges when he appeared before the town's magistrates

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Judge condemns tweets but doesn't consider custodial sentence

Ben Townsend was in court today charged with two counts of sending by public communication network, offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing messages.

The prosecuting solicitor said that he sent these messages via Twitter to two Northampton players.

His defence solicitor said he did this while under the influence of alcohol, after a game between Northampton and Cheltenham Town. He said he now bitterly regretted his actions and now realises that what he said was offensive and racist.

The district judge said there were racial elements to the tweets and she said in the current climate "it is not the sort of behaviour that the courts are going to tolerate".

She asked the probation services to prepare a community sentence. She said she wasn't considering a custodial sentence.

The probationary service was unable to do that today, so sentencing was adjourned until the 4th of July.

Ken Goodwin was in court today for ITV News.

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