Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Twitter troll says sorry to boxer

Boxer Curtis Woodhouse put a 'bounty' on a Twitter tormentor's head

An "embarrassed" Twitter troll has apologised live on television to a boxer he enraged so much that he put a "bounty" on his tormentor's head and drove more than 60 miles to his street.

Curtis Woodhouse had been receiving abusive tweets from James O'Brien for up to eight months before he finally snapped when he was branded a "disgrace" after losing his English light-welterweight title on points last week.

The former Birmingham City footballer offered £1,000 to any of his followers who could give him the troll's address, and received it within minutes.

He drove more than 60 miles from Hull to Sheffield where he tweeted a photo of Mr O'Brien's street, saying "right Jimbob im here !!!!! someone tell me what number he lives at, or do I have to knock on every door #itsshowtime".

At that point, Mr O'Brien (@jimmyob88) apologised.

Woodhouse said he finally decided to act after seeing how worried his wife was about the abuse.

He told ITV Daybreak: "If you are in the public eye, I don't think it's right that you should be abused, your family should be abused, your children should be abused, I don't think anyone has got the right to do that. I was sat on the sofa with the wife on Monday and the thing is she sometimes uses my account as well and she's seen this abuse and it worries and scares her.

"We don't know who this guy is and some of his threats, I don't know if he's being serious or not. I could see that she was worried and I thought enough is enough, I am going to put a stop to this right now."

Woodhouse drew widespread support for his actions from the Twitter community, including from footballer and prolific tweeter Joey Barton.

Mr O'Brien, who sat next to him on the show, said he realised he had "let everyone down" with his abuse. He said: "I was really childish. Looking back on it, I realised that I had done a wrong thing. I can only offer my deepest apologies to anyone I ever abused on Twitter. I've let everyone down - friends, family - and I do feel really embarrassed."

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