Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Belfast trainer gets death threats after using Oscar Knox's name in Facebook plug for gym

Personal trainer Danielle Johnston who received death threats  over her Facebook post
Personal trainer Danielle Johnston who received death threats over her Facebook post
Lanterns were released across Belfast to remember Oscar Knox. Pic Twitter
Lanterns were released across Belfast to remember Oscar Knox. Pic Twitter
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Lanterns were released across Belfast to remember Oscar Knox. Pic Twitter
Monday 1st July 2013 - Oscar Knox took over the offices of First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Parliament Buildings
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Derry City fans pay tribute to Oscar Knox during the team's match against Shamrock Rovers, Friday May 9, 2014
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
Oscar Knox pictured with mum Leona and sister Izzie
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Sunday Life Spirit Of Northern Ireland overall winner Oscar Knox with Olympic Boxer Paddy Barnes at the awards dinner in the Culloden Hotel Holywood Friday 14th June 2013
Celtic v Cliftonville, Champions League second qualifying round second leg - 23 July 2013. Oscar Knox with Celtic skipper Scott Brown ahead of the Celtic v Cliftonville match
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Oscar pictured in 2012 with the flag that made him an overnight internet sensation as he was allowed to stay up late to watch that year's European Championship matches
Oscar Knox being held by his mother Leona in hospital. This photo was posted by Oscar's family on October 13, 2012
Former Celtic player John Hartson and Oscar Knox
March 25, 2013 Little Oscar Know steals the show during a 'FEARLESS' press conference at Belfast City Hall. The event has been put together for the night which will feature Irish title fights with all profits going directly to The Oscar Knox Appeal. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
May 1, 2013 - Oscar Knox pictured at New Forge country club with Ulster Rugby's Paddy McAllister
Sunday Life Spirit Of Northern Ireland over-all winner Oscar Knox at the awards dinner in the Culloden Hotel Holywood, Friday 14th June 2013
Oscar Knox's family posted this photo on Twitter last month, saying: "I got back on my feet and walked 20 metres today, everyone was SO proud of me!"
Oscar Knox and his sister, Izzie, surrounded by Easter eggs.
Oscar Knox, celebrating his fourth birthday
Oscar Knox with his father Stephen at Celtic's Parkhead last year
Leona Knox watches as Oscar opens his presents at Christmas 2012
Close family: Oscar with mum Leona, dad Stephen and sister Izzie
Oscar Knox with Celtic skipper Scott Brown during Tuesday evenings Celtic v Cliftonville Champions League, 2nd qualifying round, 2nd leg match at Parkhead, Glasgow Scotland
Oscar blowing the candle out on his birthday cake with dad Stephen
Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox enjoying a day out in the park
Oscar Knox in hospital from Twitter in October, 2012
Little fighter: Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox arrives home from America via air ambulance
Olympic bronze medalists Paddy Barnes (left) and Michael Conlan at the gala ball in aid of Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox in Philadelphia
Mum Leona and Oscar
Michael Deane with Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox
Sinn Fein Cllr Tierna Cunningham and Belfast Lord Mayor DUP Gavin Robinson with Oscar
Oscar Knox
Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Overall Spirit of NI Winner Wee Oscar Knox Presented by, Martin Breen, Tony McGinn and Britain's Got Talent Finalist Jordan O'Keefe
Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Overall Spirit of NI Winner Wee Oscar Knox Presented by, Martin Breen, Tony McGinn and Britain's Got Talent Finalist Jordan O'Keefe
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Saturday 14th June 2013 - Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Overall Spirit of NI Winner Wee Oscar Knox with his mum Leona
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Saturday 14th June 2013 - Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Julian Simmons, Paddy Barnes & Wee Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox
Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Overall winner Wee Oscar Knox presented by Martin Breen and Britain's Got Talent Finalist Jordan O'Keefe

A Belfast woman has spoken of her "living nightmare" after she received death threats over a Facebook post about Oscar Knox.

The little five-year-old, who won the hearts of people here and around the world, lost his battle with cancer last week.

Danielle Johnston, a personal trainer at her husband Will's Sculpture gym on Balmoral Road in Belfast, was on the receiving end of a torrent of abuse after she was accused of using Oscar's name for self-promotion.

In a post on Monday evening, Danielle wrote: "I think it's really sad when poor wee Oscar had no choice with his illness and tried to fight it as much as he could.

"When people know the dangers of being overweight and unhealthy but continue to do so.

"Changing your lifestyle isn't easy but it's definitely worth the blood, sweat and tears for a happy healthy life."

Just hours after making the comment Danielle was forced to remove her Facebook account because of the volume of abuse directed at her.

However, comments continued to gather on the gym's Facebook page, with one user posting: "Horrible vile people. Trying to gain interest in your gym off the back of the tragic death of young fearless Oscar is the lowest of the low. I hope this destroys your business."

The fitness expert said she was devastated at the result of her post.

"It's just been a complete nightmare. I didn't even think when I put up the post, and it wasn't written in the context that people have taken it," she said.

"The post was up for a while and people were actually liking it, but then one person commented negatively and the abuse just kept coming.

"I put an apology on straight away, to make it clear I meant no offence in relation to Oscar, but it had moved on from that – it was personal attacks on me and Will.

"I had death threats and people from America messaging me to tell me they hated me.

"Last year at Sculpture we ran a campaign to raise money for Oscar and we have sold wristbands for the great cause the family continues to campaign for."

An emotional Danielle, who was set to fly out on her honeymoon last night, told the Belfast Telegraph that she regretted the post and was being kept going by the messages of support from people who know her. On Sunday thousands of mourners attended the funeral of wee Oscar at St Bernard's Church in Glengormley before hundreds of lanterns lit up the city's night sky as people moved by his fighting spirit paid tribute to the five-year-old's legacy.

Further reading

Oscar Knox: Hundreds of lanterns light Wee Oscar's journey to 'Neverland'

Oscar Knox: First Ministers lead the tributes to Wee Oscar in Assembly

Oscar Knox: Mum and dad of little superhero get standing ovation at 'Mass of Angels'

Oscar Knox: Smiles and tears at a celebration of the tot whose spirit captured our hearts

Oscar Knox: Police quiz teens over abusive messages  

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