Published Thursday, 22 August 2013
The 57-year-old former deputy lord mayor of Belfast was at the city magistrates' court on Thursday morning to plead her innocence.
Senior DUP colleagues Sammy Wilson, Edwin Poots and Jonathan Bell attended the hearing - as did a number of loyalist supporters, who tried to prevent the press from taking pictures outside the courthouse.
Patterson, whose address was given as Ravenhill Avenue, has been charged with sending a grossly offensive message via Facebook on 30 July.
Her solicitor Denis Moloney told District Judge Fiona Bagnall the apology did not affect his client's ability to contest the charges.
Ruth Patterson was arrested by the PSNI over comments made on Facebook in support of a fictitious report about a massacre of senior Sinn Féin figures during a controversial IRA commemoration parade in Castlederg, Co Tyrone.
In the message, she said: "We would have done a great service to Northern Ireland and the world getting rid of these evil, devious, scum like individuals."
She later withdrew the comments and apologised. The DUP described the remarks as unacceptable.
The matter gained notoriety because of the defendant's humble and contrite apology.
Denis Moloney, defence solicitor
In court, a PSNI detective said he believed that he could connect the defendant to the charges.
Mr Moloney described the arrest as "malicious and draconian".
He also said there were a number of issues he wished to raise with the investigating police officer.
Judge Bagnall adjourned the case for eight weeks until 17 October saying: "I expect a decision."
Speaking afterwards, DUP MP Sammy Wilson said he hoped that the matter would be dealt with appropriately.
"We were determined to come down and show support for someone who has been a good party member," he said.
"I know Ruth well - I have canvassed for her in Balmoral - and the fact that she gets elected time and time again shows she has the trust of the people of her area.
"I hope that when this matter does be eventually heard that it will be dealt with in the right manner."
Ruth Patterson declined to comment.
Formerly a nurse, she joined the UDR in the 70s, before moving to politics in 2000 when she was appointed campaign manager for Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds during the Westminster election.
During her term as deputy lord mayor, she snubbed Sinn Féin representive Niall Ó'Donnghaile when he was appointed lord mayor in 2011 and refused to shake his hand.
© UTV News