Belfast Telegraph

DUP's Ruth Patterson in court over Facebook post charge

A DUP councillor has appeared in court in charged in connection with a comment she posted on Facebook.

Ruth Patterson (57) a former deputy lord mayor of Belfast, was at the city's magistrates' court this morning to plead her innocence.

Mrs Patterson, whose address was given as Ravenhill Avenue, has been charged with sending a grossly offensive message by Facebook on July 30.

Solicitor Denis Moloney said: "The matter gained notoriety because of the defendant's humble and contrite apology."

The solicitor told District Judge Fiona Bagnall the apology did not affect his client's ability to contest the charges.

Mrs Patterson was arrested by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) over comments made on Facebook in response to a fictitious report about a massacre of senior Sinn Fein figures during a controversial IRA commemoration parade in Castlederg, Co Tyrone.

Mr Moloney described the arrest to be "malicious and draconian".

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