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Former X Factor star faces court for allegedly branding former pal 'pervert' on Facebook

By Deborah McAleese

Published 02/04/2016

Jolene Burns
Jolene Burns
Jolene Burns on The Voice Ireland

A former Northern Ireland X Factor contestant is to appear in court accused of calling a friend a "pervert" on Facebook.

Belfast woman Jolene Burns, who made it through to the bootcamp stage of the hit show in 2011 alongside winners Little Mix, is to be charged in connection with a smear campaign against a male pal on the social media site.

The 28-year-old, from Glandore Drive in the north of the city, is alleged to have posted a photo of the father-of-one and branded him a "pervert" on Facebook.

The posts claimed that the man was stalking Burns and taking photographs of her and her child.

Another post said that Burns had been forced to leave her job and her home because of him. The posts have since been removed.

The pair struck up a friendship in July after meeting in a Belfast cafe where she was working.

It is understood that they fell out a few months later and in October last year the alleged victim claims offensive posts appeared on two Facebook sites.

The man reported the posts to police and Burns was questioned before a file was sent to the Public Prosecution Service for consideration. She is now expected to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court next week on two charges of improper use of a public communications network.

Burns wowed The X Factor judges in the first auditions of season eight of the show in 2011 and was voted through to the bootcamp stage. She was one of the Northern Ireland hopefuls that year, along with Omagh's Janet Devlin.

While Janet made it through to the live shows, Burns failed to complete bootcamp. Girlband Little Mix went on to win the show.

Last year she appeared on the Irish version of The Voice and was coached by Irish musician Niall Breslin, known as Bressie, but was later eliminated in the battles stage of the contest.

Since then she has been performing at a number of Belfast nightspots.

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