Restraining order for man who ‘named and shamed’ sex offenders online
A man who ran a social media page naming paedophiles and sex offenders has avoided a conviction for harassing one child abuser by agreeing to accept a restraining order.
Joe George McCloskey, from Anderson Crescent in Limavady, Co Londonderry, operated a Facebook page with the intent of naming and shaming paedophiles.
Prosecutors pulled charges facing McCloskey after he agreed to the terms of the order which prevents him from making contact with the offender or talking about him on social media.
When the case was called, a prosecutor told district judge Liam McNally: “We are prepared to withdraw the charge on the proviso that the defence and Mr McCloskey consent to a fairly lengthy restraining order preventing any contact between the defendant and complainant.”
Judge McNally, who emphasised that a reporting restriction prevented the naming of the complainant, stressed to McCloskey the importance of adhering to the three-year order.
The defendant, who himself has a lengthy criminal record, replied: “I understand it completely.”
McCloskey’s defence solicitor said his client had already stopped his Facebook campaign.
Earlier this year both McCloskey and Facebook were successfully sued in a landmark civil case taken at Belfast High Court by a man named on his page, the Press Association news agency reports.
The sex offender who took the case to court was awarded £20,000 in damages.