Belfast Telegraph

Abuser is sued over Facebook damages

By Alan Erwin

A convicted child abuser awarded £20,000 in damages for featuring on a Facebook page set up to monitor paedophiles is being sued by one of his victims, it has emerged.

The victim's lawyers have also secured a High Court injunction halting any payout to the sex offender following his landmark action against the social networking giant.

Last month a judge held Facebook and page operator Joe McCloskey liable for misusing private information. Information published indiscriminately could have threatened public order and incited violence and hatred, he found.

The sex offender who brought the privacy action, identified only as CG, was released from jail in 2012 after serving a sentence for gross indecency and indecent assault offences against a young girl and a teenage boy.

Now aged in his forties, he remains under supervision by the authorities. He claimed harassment, violation of his right to privacy and breaches of the Data Protection Act against Facebook and Mr McCloskey after his photograph and details appeared on the site monitoring child abusers.

Ruling in favour of CG's right to privacy, the judge made an award of damages against the defendants in the total sum of £20,000.

Since his verdict one of the sex offender's victims has started civil proceedings in a bid to secure compensation from him. An injunction has now been granted to freeze any pay-outs that will follow from the original judgment.

In court yesterday counsel for CG confirmed his client had received no money so far. He also reiterated how the convicted sex offender originally just wanted Facebook to remove the page and pay £7,500 to a child abuse charity.

The court heard there was little defence expected to be mounted to the new claim by the victim.

Listing the case for a further review next week, Mr Justice Stephens ordered the injunction to remain in place until then.

Outside court the victim's lawyer, Michael Redmond of Doris & MacMahon Solicitors, said: "Our client was extremely concerned and annoyed on hearing that the person who had been convicted of abuse was due to receive a significant amount of compensation arising out of a recent claim involving Facebook."

Belfast Telegraph


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