THE Bournemouth father of the 17-year-old boy arrested after sending abusive Twitter messages to Olympic diving star Tom Daley says his son “needs help”.

Dorset Police officers swooped on the Weymouth home of Reece Messer at 2.45am, just hours after he told the sports star he had 'let down' his late father in the synchronised ten metre final on Monday.

Using his Rileyy_69 Twitter account, he told Daley: 'You let your dad now, I hope you know that.'

News of the abuse went viral after Daley retweeted it to his 850,000 followers. This provoked Reece to apologise but he later threatened to 'drown' the sports star.

Reece was handed a formal harassment warning by Dorset Police and was also released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Speaking to reporters from his Boscombe home, his dad Norman, a 58-year-old carpet cleaner, said his son suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and “needs help not punishment”.

He added: “I'm quite shocked. Reece badly needs help. I'm heartbroken this has happened to him. I think the police should be involved but he doesn't know what he's saying. He just doesn't think about it.”

Mr Messer said problems emerged when Reece was eight and he started getting into trouble at school.

Speaking to Daley, he said: “I just want to say sorry to Tom Daley and wish him every success in the future.”

Mr Messer said he and Reece's mother split up when he was 12 months old and she now lives in Stockport.