Police drop Brussels tweet race-hate charge
A social media race-hate charge against a man over a tweet about a confrontation with a Muslim woman over the Brussels terror attacks have been dropped, in a U-turn by authorities.
Matthew Doyle, 46, from South Croydon, was arrested on Wednesday after a message was posted on his Twitter profile about confronting a woman in south London.
The Metropolitan Police announced on Friday morning that he had been charged with publishing or distributing written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, likely or intended to stir up racial hatred.
But hours later Scotland Yard said he was "no longer charged". He will not have to attend a planned first appearance at Camberwell Magistrates Court on Saturday morning, the force said.
A police spokesman said: "Matthew Doyle, 46 of South Croydon was charged by police on Friday, March 25, with an offence under Section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986.
"Following discussion with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Mr Doyle is no longer charged with the offence and will not be appearing at court.
"Police may not make charging decisions on offences under Section 19 of the Public Order Act. There will be further consultation with CPS."
Scotland Yard had said he was charged after an investigation by officers at Croydon Police Community Safety Unit.