Teen in Singapore charged over online death threats sent to Premier League footballer Neal Maupay
SINGAPORE: A Singaporean has been charged with harassment after threatening to kill Brighton & Hove Albion forward Neal Maupay and his family in online messages sent last year.
Derek Ng De Ren, 19, was in Singapore when he sent the threats to Maupay via Instagram direct message, according to charge sheets.
The messages, sent on four occasions in June and July last year, came after a Premier League match between Arsenal and Brighton on Jun 20.
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno suffered a serious knee injury after a tackle by French national Maupay during the game and was stretchered off the pitch. Arsenal went on to lose 2-1.
On the night of Jun 24, 2020, Ng sent a message to Maupay that read: "You think you will get away for injuring Leno? No way in hell bruv ...
"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."
READ: Premier League traces online abuse of Brighton’s Neal Maupay to Singapore; police report filed
The next day, Ng sent another message containing an expletive.
In the wee hours of Jun 26, he also told Maupay: "Your family will be attacked later in the day, just watch."
He followed this with another message on Jul 1: "You think by reporting my account you're safe? I will kill you and your family."
Ng used "threatening words with the intent to cause distress" to Maupay in these messages, said the charge sheets.
The teen faces four charges under Singapore's Protection from Harassment Act.
If convicted, he could be fined up to S$5,000, jailed up to six months or both for each charge.
Ng's death threats first came to light after the messages were reported to the Premier League via its online abuse reporting system.
In August last year, the Premier League said its investigators had tracked the location of the person responsible to Singapore.
"The Premier League is liaising with local authorities and will support all subsequent legal action on behalf of Maupay," it said at the time.
The Premier League last year launched a dedicated reporting system for players, managers, coaches and family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse from direct messages on social media platforms.