Leamington FC’s unofficial fans’ forum The Banter has posted a message regarding trolling after a harassment case was brought against one of its users by Brakes’ assistant manager Liam O’Neill.
A post made by an administrator on the online forum says: “The Banter would like to issue a public apology from Tony Macken, of Leamington, who used the Banter forum as Brake4Life/Christo and a number of other user names to make criticisms towards Leamington assistant manager Liam O’Neill.”
The post explains how Mr Macken also harassed Mr O’Neill at his place of work, attempting to get him sacked and that as a result of this, and the comments on the Banter, a harassment order was made against him.
The post also says: “A letter via the police from Mr Macken reads ‘I would like to write to clarify some postings and apologise if they have caused offence.
“I made a number of posts commenting on the competence of Liam O’Neill.
“I can assure you he is a competent coach and I wish him and Leamington FC all the very best going forward,”
The harassment took place over several months while Brakes were locked in a relegation battle in the Conference North league.
Mr O’Neill has been a coach at the Leamington for five years, working alongside manager Paul Holleran to help the club to win promotion to the Conference in 2013.
The post goes on to say: “Clearly this has been a stressful time for Liam and his family and, on top of all this, he and Paul have been trying to ready the team for the new season.
“Liam would like to thank all the fans for their support over the summer and going into the new season.”
Warwickshire Police have said: “We were called to a report of the victim receiving malicious emails, an investigation was undertaken and the emails were traced back to a 52 year-old man from Leamington.
“The victim has liaised with the offender through the restorative justices process to resolve the matter, in which the offender was made to pay a penalty of £60 in compensation to the victim and provide a donation to two charities.”