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Singapore—A 19-year-old Singaporean was charged in court on Monday (May 3) for threatening to kill an English Premier League player last year.

Derek Ng De Ren also allegedly threatened the family of French-Argentinian football player Neal Maupay. 

The teenager will enter a guilty plea on all the charges against him, the court heard.

Mr Maupay, 24, is a forward for Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion.

Ng is said to have sent threatening messages online to the football star in June and July last year. This occurred after a June 20, 2020, Premier League match where Mr Maupay’s football team beat rival Arsenal. 

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In the game, Mr Maupay, who won the winning goal, had tackled Arsenal’s goalkeeper Bernd Leno. Mr Leno had to leave the game due to a serious knee injury from the mishap.

Mr Maupay then made a public apology to Mr Leno, saying he had never meant to hurt him, and wishing him a speedy recovery.

IG screengrab: Neal Maupay

However, the footballer received threats online shortly afterwards, via Direct Message on his Instagram account, on four occasions.

The Premier League alerted the Singapore Police Force that “serious online abuse” towards Mr Maupay had occurred, with the person behind the threats living in Singapore, The Straits Times (ST) reported.

ST quotes one message: “You think you will get away for injuring Leno? No way in hell bruv (sic)… 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.”

On June 26, Ng reportedly sent another DM to the football player, which read: “Your family will be attacked later in the day, just watch.”

Ng also allegedly sent an even graver threat on July 1.

”You think by reporting my account you’re safe? I will kill you and your family.”

According to the charge sheets, Ng used “threatening words with the intent to cause distress”. He is now facing four charges under Singapore’s Protection from Harassment Act.

The teen will be back in court on May 31. Ng faces up to six months’ jail and a $5,000 fine for every count of harassment./TISG

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