Referee cleared by investigation after claims of online bigotry

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A FORMER referee investigated by police for alleged anti-Catholic messages posted online after an Old Firm match will not be prosecuted.

Jeff Winter’s home in Middlesbrough was searched by 
officers from Strathclyde Police’s national football co-ordination unit in September.

The investigation was prompted by allegations that sectarian remarks were posted on the former Barclays Premier League referee’s website after Celtic beat Rangers 1-0 in December last year.

Mr Winter’s legal team at Glasgow-based Bridge Litigation said proceedings will be going no further. “We confirm that comments posted on the website of Jeff Winter have been the subject of a full and thorough investigation,” a statement said.

“We have been informed by the procurator fiscal’s office that the results of this investigation have now been fully reviewed and considered by them. We are advised that no prosecution of Jeff Winter is currently anticipated.”

Mr Winter said he was “delighted” and added: “This ends almost 12 months of real stress and concern for myself, my family and associates.”