Sent derogatory message to politician on Facebook

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Angry that the stabbing of his brother had been linked to gang warfare a 27-year-old man sent a derogatory Facebook message to an elected representative.

Daniel Treanor, Garland Avenue, Lurgan, was charged that on April 22 this year he sent by means of a public electronic communications network a message of a menacing character.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court to obtain a pre-sentence report.

A public prosecutor said the injured party was a local elected representative who received an unsolicited message on Facebook after she sent out something about knife crime.

The comment was very derogatory in nature towards the lady and she showed it to police.

It was confirmed the message had been sent from Treanor’s phone.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny said it was an offence which becoming more and more prevalent.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said: “Just two words. Jo Cox.”

Mr Lunny said this was a young man who should have known better.

Judge Kelly said there were absolutely no excuses.

Mr Lunny added that his client had seen a statement in a local paper and the contents were not true.

Mrs Kelly said all he had to do was reply and said that was an untruth.

Mr Lunny said Treanor was in a highly emotional state two days after his younger brother had been stabbed and was critically ill.

He added that he defendant saw a report in print and on Twitter linking two stabbings involving gang warfare which was not the case.

“Thankfully his brother recovered,” said Mr Lunny. “But that was where he was coming from and he knew that the language he used was horrific.”

He added that the defendant had a good job and work ethic and handed in two references to the court.

Judge Kelly said the references showed a completely different person and he had offences for dishonesty on his record yet one reference used the word trustworthy.

“I am attaching no weight to them whatsoever,” she commented.

Mr Lunny said it was a ‘moment of madness’ and Treanor stood to lose a lot.

He added that his client went about this the wrong way using threatening and insulting language. He urged the judge if she was considering a prison sentence to leave something hanging over his head.

Judge Kelly told Treanor Jo Cox was an MP in England who was killed, leaving a husband and a young family with the individual probably reacting when his temper was up.

“You cannot behave this way,” she told the defendant. “People cannot take the law into their own hands. The irony is that you go and break the law when your brother was lying in hospital because somebody did the same thing.”

From the dock Treanor said he was completely out of order.

Judge Kelly gave him a two month prison sentence but given his plea of guilty and modest record she suspended it for 12 months.