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Richhill resident in court over Facebook posts accusing man of grooming child

Court told two injures parties as result on comments and messages on social media

A Richhill man who accused another man of grooming a 14-year-old girl in a Facebook post must wait until next month for sentencing.

Gary Ashley Smyth, of Pinewood Drive, pleaded guilty to two counts of sending menacing messages via electronic communication at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The court heard the charges referred to both public posts and messages on Facebook concerning two different injured parties on May 13.

The first was a post in which 35-year-old Smyth accused another male of grooming a 14-year-old girl, in which he wrote comments “they are going to get you” and “you need a hammering”.

When interviewed he said he meant the police were going to get the injured party and that the “hammering” referred to a talking to.

The second offence referred to comments made to another injured party in which he threatened to rip their head off.

In interview, the defendant claimed he did not have the physical strength with which to carry out this threat and that it was a figure of speech as he was angry.

District Judge Paul Copeland heard that no victim impact statements had been collected and adjourned the case until October 18.

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