Law chief warns of contempt over social media posts about Premier League footballer arrested for alleged sex offences

The Attorney General has warned social media platforms and their users over posts and a Premier League footballer.

The Everton player has been arrested on suspicion of child sex offences.

He cannot be named for legal reasons.

He has been released on bail as the police continue their inquiries.

However, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram were “alive” with posts claiming to name the player.

The Attorney General, Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP, said:

“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and everyone deserves a fair trial.

“A mis-judged tweet or post could have grave repercussions and interfere with a trial.

“It could mean a trial is delayed or at worst stopped because a fair trial isn’t possible – so I would caution everyone, don’t get in the way of justice being done.

“The Attorney General’s Office will monitor the situation and we will review any contempt of court allegations made to us.”

Contempt of court can carry a prison sentence meant to “purge the contempt”

A spokesman at Everton said:

“The club can confirm it has suspended a first-team player pending a police investigation.

“The club will continue to support the authorities with their inquiries and will not be making any further statement at this time.”


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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