Youth detained over abusive Twitter messages received by Tom Daley when he failed to win a medal issued with harassment warning
- Dorset Police: 17-year-old arrested at a guest house in Weymouth
- Daley and partner Pete Waterfield narrowly missed out on medal
- British pair led at half-way point but fell away with tougher final dives
- China's Yuan Cao and Yanquan Zhang won by massive margin
- Prime Minister David Cameron among packed crowd at Aquatics Centre
The teenager is still being investigated by police, however, over other communications sent from his Twitter account.
Dorset Police said the youth had been arrested in the early hours this morning after 18-year-old Olympic star Daley received messages on the social networking site.
He was detained at a guesthouse in Weymouth hours after abusive messages were sent to Daley, following the diver's failure to win a medal in the 10m synchronised diving event.
A 17-year-old has been arrested after malicious tweets were sent to Olympic diver Tom Daley (pictured)
It is understood Daley will be advised to keep off Twitter two days before he competes in the individual version of his event on August 10.
A spokesman for Dorset Police said: 'The 17-year-old arrested in the Weymouth area this morning, Tuesday July 31, on suspicion of malicious communication has been issued with a harassment warning in connection to tweets to Olympic diver Tom Daley.
'In addition to the warning the teenager has been bailed to return to the police station at a later date whilst Dorset Police investigate other communications on his Twitter account.'
The teenager was arrested after malicious tweets were sent to Olympic diver Tom Daley, accusing him of letting down his late father by missing out on a medal.
Daley, 18, and his partner Pete Waterfield, 31, finished fourth yesterday in the men’s synchronised 10m platform diving event at London 2012.
Shortly afterwards, Daley retweeted a message from user Rileyy69 which said: 'You let your dad down i hope you know that.'
Daley responded by tweeting: 'After giving it my all... you get idiots sending me this...'
Shocking: Diving star Tom Daley reacts angrily after he was sent an abusive tweet following his disappointment at missing out on a medal this afternoon
Daley’s father Rob died last year from brain cancer.
The Twitter user Rileyy_69 made a serious of insulting comments about Daly, including a claim that he would drown the superstar teenager. It is believed this tweet resulted in his arrest.
Speaking after this morning's ministerial Olympic meeting in Whitehall, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt declined to comment on the arrest, but told the BBC: 'What I noticed was the incredible support both Tom Daley and his partner got from the crowd in the Aquatics Centre.
'It was an incredible moment and actually very British that we were behind him even when he wasn't successful.
'And of course he's still got the individual dive to come and everyone wishes him very well for that.'
Speaking before the Olympics, Daley revealed his father 'gave me all the inspiration that I’ve needed'.
He told the BBC: 'Winning a medal would make all the struggles that I’ve had worthwhile. It’s been my dream since a very young age to compete at an Olympics.
'I’m doing it for myself and my dad. It was both our dreams from a very young age.
'I always wanted to do it and Dad was so supportive of everything.
'It would make it extra special to do it for him.'
Abuse: This shows the original Tweet which was sent to Tom Daley
When news of the insensitive tweet spread, Rileyy69 attempted to apologise.
He tweeted: '@TomDaley1994 I’m sorry mate i just wanted you to win cause its the olympics I’m just annoyed we didn’t win I’m sorry tom accept my apology.'
He later added: 'please i don’t want to be hated I’m just sorry you didn’t win i was rooting for you pal to do britain all proud just so upset.'
Dorset Police later confirmed they were investigating the incident.
A spokesman for the force wrote on Twitter: 'Regarding tweets to @tomdaley1994 - we are aware of the issue and we are actively looking into it.'
Deputy Mayor of the Olympic Village Duncan Goodhew, a gold and bronze medallist in swimming at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, described the behaviour of the Twitter troll as 'appalling'.
'It is appalling that people behave that way. Becky Adlington, in fact, suffered probably far worse abuse, as well, if you remember the kerfuffle some years ago,' he told ITV’s Daybreak.
'I suppose that social media in one sense is fantastic, but turned the wrong way round it is very, very personal and it destroys people’s lives.
'So I think people should be much more careful about what they say.'
Inspiration: Daley's father Rob, left, died in May last year following a long battle with cancer and was a major driving force behind the teenager's success
TWITTER AND THE LAW
After the disappointment of the synchronised final, a leading sports psychologist predicted that Daley would use the memory of his father to spur him on and go for gold in the individual diving event.
Tom Lucas, a leading sports psychologist, said: “I think he’s on a mission to remember his dad and his mission is to win something in the individual - which is his stronger event.
'Carl Lewis always had a photo of his father tucked down his socks, that was a reminder for him.
'I think for Tom the memory of his father will be used as a catalyst and a spur.
'And Tom is a good showman, he’s a supremely confident athlete.'
Mr Lucas said Daley stood more chance of glory in the individual event and top competitors like him would not waver despite a knock-back.
'To a certain extent that was his weaker event,' Mr Lucas added. 'It’s not the winning, it’s how you deal with disaster, how you deal with the setbacks, that separates the good from the great athletes.
'They were actually leading at one point but went a bit haywire and could not recover.
'That’s gone now, that’s away. His focus now will be on the individual event.
'I think this will spur him on. These people don’t give up that easily, he will be even stronger for the individual event now.
'He will be on the podium. It’s just a question of which colour medal he gets.'
Daley will compete in the individual event on August 11.
The Script had Daley walking proudly to the rostrum and holding a medal aloft.
But his dream of winning Olympic gold in the synchronised diving ended yesterday in despair.
He and Waterfield fluffed their fourth dive – and watched their scores plunge as quickly as they had into the water.
Here's how it all went wrong on dive number four
Step one: Daley and Waterfield are out of sync Step two: Still out of sync as they tuck their knees
Step three: Daley kicks his feet too early Step four: They fail to enter the water vertically
His mother Debbie, watching the event at the Aquatic Centre in the Olympic Park, threw her head back in disbelief at her son’s final dive. His close companion and team-mate Tonia Couch could barely hide her disappointment.
The normally exuberant Daley, leaning against a wall beneath the diving platform, could only put his hand to his brow. ‘Gutted’ was how he described his emotions later, adding: ‘So sorry everyone.’
Daley’s father Rob was killed by a brain tumour 14 months ago at the age of 40. Last night police confirmed they were investigating the offensive tweets sent to Daley, which included threats to drown him.
The young diver did not lack for – largely female – support yesterday. Synchronised drooling isn’t yet an Olympic event but yesterday’s performance by Team TD would surely have been worthy of gold.
From young mothers who should have known better to teeny schoolgirls hoping to capture an iPhone snapshot, hundreds came in search of a little piece of Tom. Some were even there for the diving.
‘I love the smell of chlorine in the morning,’ said loyal follower Emma Santoni. The 26-year-old chemist has a flat only a few miles from the modest Plymouth semi where Daley lives with his mother Debbie and brothers Will, 16, and Ben, 13, and has watched him at the pool where they both swim.
Daley (nearside) and Waterfield stretch out on one of their early dives
Both Daley and Waterfield will have another chance to win a medal in the 10m individual platform event
Gutted: Following the event, Tom Daley tweeted to express his disappointment
Daley and Waterfield plummet head first towards the water on their first dive
THE FULL RESULTS
What exactly was it that she liked about him, I asked. ‘Are you kidding?’ she said. ‘Have you seen him lately?’
And on cue, he appeared. ‘Lay-dees and gentlemen,’ said the loudspeaker announcement. ‘Tom (slight pause)... Daley!’
The crowd erupted. Pensioners waved their flags with great vigour; fathers tried to calm excited teenage daughters.
Daley’s Angels, the groupies who follow him everywhere, came over a bit faint.
And, at this stage, standing in a line-up alongside his synchronised partner Waterfield, our hero still had his kit on.
Even Prince Harry, the other most eligible bachelor in Britain, didn’t rate so many ‘phwoars’ when he went elsewhere on the Olympic trail yesterday.
On the high board, Daley was tanned, discreetly waxed, perfectly groomed and stripped for action. He had said he wanted to ‘do it for Dad’ and, before going into action, he tweeted: ‘After the toughest year of my life, today is the day!’
As it turned out, it wasn’t.
But there’s still another dive, still another day – still another chance at gold at the individual ten metre platform diving event next week.
And, as any true fan could have told you yesterday, there’s still only one Tom Daley.'
An underwater shot of Pete Waterfield (foreground) and Tom Daley after a dive
Support: An estimated 1,500 people - many clutching Union flags - cheered enthusiastically in Plymouth city centre as Daley and his diving partner narrowly missed out on a medal
Prime Minister David Cameron in the crowd at the diving final, alongside CEO of the British Olympic Association Andy Hunt
Undeterred Daley was back in the Aquatics Centre today
Daley quickly shrugged off the disappointment of defeat and his anger surrounding the Twitter troll.
The diver was back in the Aquatics Centre today to cheer on Team GB teammates Tonia Crouch and Sarah Barrow as they took part in the women's platform synchro.
The 18-year-old was on his feet gesturing wildly as the pair performed their dives - and couldn't hide his disappointment when they slumped to fifth place.
It was short of their podium aim after they claimed a bronze medal in the same company at the World Cup in February before ending Britain's 74-year wait for a European female champion two months ago.
Tom Daley cheers as Tonia Crouch and Sarah Barrow dive for Team GB
Anxious wait: Daley can't look as he waits for the scores to be announced
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