A Singaporean teenager was sentenced to nine months probation and 40 hours of community service Wednesday for sending Instagram death threats to French footballer Neal Maupay after an English Premier League match.
Derek Ng De Ren, 19, sent several threatening direct messages to Brighton & Hove Albion forward Maupay last year from the Southeast Asian city-state, according to court documents.
The teenager was angered after watching a collision on television between Maupay and Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno during a match in June last year, that led to the goalie being stretchered off in the first half.
Brighton’s forward later scored the winning goal in a crucial win for the bottom of the table team.
Blaming Maupay for the injury and furious at Arsenal’s loss, Ng sent several Instagram messages in which he threatened to kill Maupay and his family, according to the court documents.
“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,” Ng wrote.
District Court Judge May Mesenas sentenced the teenager to nine months of supervised probation, 40 hours of community service and a curfew from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am.
He will also be required to seek psychological and psychiatric treatment.
The judge told Ng that “making threats is not the appropriate way” and his future would be in jeopardy if he did not control his emotions.
Defence lawyer Mark Yeo told the court his client had been remorseful and wrote an apology letter to Maupay which had been forwarded to the player.
He had also been seeking professional counselling while serving his mandatory national service in the Singapore armed forces, Yeo said.
State prosecutors said that by using an anonymous account that did not reveal his location, Ng was able to “cause material harm” to Maupay.
Ng, who pleaded guilty to two counts of harassment, could have been fined and jailed for up to six months for each count.
After Maupay reported the messages, the Premier League worked with authorities in Singapore to pursue legal action.