Paedophile wins Facebook injunction bid

Published Friday, 30 November 2012
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A convicted sex offender has won his High Court bid to have a Facebook page which 'monitors' paedophiles in Northern Ireland closed down.

Paedophile wins Facebook injunction bid
The case was heard at the High Court in Belfast. (© UTV)

Facebook has been given 72 hours to take down the page at the centre of the case.

The offender, who cannot be identified, found his photo published on the website - alongside threatening comments - following his release from prison on licence.

He had been serving a six-year sentence for a string of child sex offences, including indecent assault and gross indecency, committed more than two decades ago.

He claimed the publication of his personal details amounted to harassment, misuse of private information, and breached his right to privacy and freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment.

The court head that he fears being attacked or burnt out of his home.

A judge has now ruled that some content of the Facebook page amounted to prima facie harassment and risked infringing on the man's human rights.

The order of the court will be that the removal from Facebook ... is to be effected within 72 hours.

Mr Justice McCloskey

Granting an interim injunction, Mr Justice McCloskey said: "Society has dealt with the plaintiff in accordance with the rule of law.

"He has been punished by incarceration and he is subject to substantial daily restrictions on his lifestyle."

While the photo and corresponding comments were removed by Facebook, the offender continued to seek the closure of the page and the disclosure of the identity of those who set up and ran it.

Lawyers for Facebook argued that it was neither necessary nor proportionate to remove a page used by 4,000 people.

After details of the case were made public, more comments were made online and some were read to the court.

One said: "So the man, or I mean mess of a human being, that's taken this page to court, he must want to be the head paedophile and rule over all sex offenders. He will be like a god to them."

Another stated: "Put him down like an animal."

In making his ruling, the judge concurred that "the pendulum of the rule of law swings in the plaintiff's favour" and that granting the interim order would cause minimal disruption to Facebook.

A spokeswoman for Facebook said: "We are considering our next steps in light of the court judgment and we have nothing further to add at this stage."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
10 Comments
reginal breydin in derry wrote (627 days ago):
websites like one that was taken down on 30th they used it to falsely accuse people and threaten innocent people and for abuse thats why lots were complaining to the police
caroline in Fermanagh wrote (627 days ago):
totally agree with MS McNeill, why should their rights be protected when they have taken the rights of the victims away. our children need protecting from these people and anyone who does harm to children in any shape or form deserves to be punished and named as well. it is time the law was changed
Séamus in Bun Abhann Dalla wrote (627 days ago):
This nanny state that we live in....the lives of our children are immensely more important than that of any depraved obnoxious child molester ......the moment he touched a child he forsook any rights he had....name and shame...this revolting evil crime is not tolerable in any society and the judiciary need to reflect the views of that society.
julie in glasgow wrote (627 days ago):
I couldn't agree more with June.Why not name and shame them after all the way things are being done at the minute is clearly not working.As a parent it is your duty to look after your children and keep them out of harms way,its hard enough doing this in normal every day life without BIG BROTHER knowing who is who and making this an impossible task.THE LAW ON THESE INDIVIDUALS HAS GOT TO CHANGE AND FAST.
vanda rea in south belfast wrote (628 days ago):
What a joke... cant believe this ruling surely when someone is convicted of such a crime.... they should be named and shamed publicty what about parents rights to ptotect their children... oh thats right we dont matter.... JOKE
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