Fan faces no charges over Adeyemi abuse
No charges will be made against a Liverpool fan who was accused of racially abusing Oldham Athletic player Tom Adeyemi.
The 20-year-old midfielder was reduced to tears in the 79th minute of the January FA Cup clash at Anfield when he went to retrieve a ball from the Kop End.
Adeyemi, who is on loan at Boundary Park from Norwich City, appeared to confront a fan before being led away by team mates.
He made a statement to police after the match and a 20-year-old suspect from Aintree was identified from CCTV footage, arrested and bailed.
But the Manchester Evening News has revealed that lawyers have decided not prosecute after a number of other Liverpool fans came forward to give evidence in his support and a closer look was taken at video clips.
Jane Roden, Head of the Complex Casework Unit, CPS Mersey-Cheshire, made the decision.
She said: “I have considered a file of evidence submitted by Merseyside Police, relating to an incident which occurred on January 6 when Liverpool and Oldham Athletic met in the FA Cup.
“In the 79th minute of the game, Oldham Athletic player Tom Adeyemi alleged that a fan had shouted a racially abusive comment at him, after he retrieved the ball from near the crowd.
“Mr Adeyemi reported the incident to the referee. The referee notified the fourth official, who then notified the police.
“No action was taken until after the final whistle. Mr Adeyemi spoke to officers after the match and gave a statement to the police on January 8.
“A suspect was identified and arrested. During interview he admitted shouting at the player, but denied it was of a racial nature. He was released on police bail pending a decision from the CPS.
“I have viewed the extensive CCTV footage available, which has been enhanced to isolate and improve the sound. I have also read statements from Mr Adeyemi, the match officials and the many independent witnesses to the incident, many of whom came forward after the game to offer their evidence after hearing media reports of the incident.
“There are two important factors I have relied upon when making my decision: the enhanced CCTV footage and the high proportion of witness statements which tend to support the suspect’s version of events.
“On the balance of all of the evidence, I have therefore concluded that there is insufficient evidence to bring any criminal charges in this case and I have advised Merseyside Police of my decision.”
Oldham director Barry Owen revealed that the club accepted the decision.
He said: “We would like to thank Merseyside Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for a thorough and painstaking inquiry.
“As a club, we accept the difficulties for all concerned investigating a matter such as this and, without reservation, accept the decision.
“I have not been able to discuss the issue with the player.”