Belfast Telegraph

Accused 'accepts it is him on video pointing fake rifle at Orange walk'

By Paul Higgins

A man accused of pointing a fake assault rifle at an Orange parade accepts it is himself in a video, a court has heard.

Antrim Magistrates Court also heard that threats had been made against 34-year-old Christopher Donaldson on social media.

Donaldson, whose address is subject to reporting restrictions as a result of the threats, appeared in court yesterday on five charges arising from the incident on July 8 this year.

The 34 year-old is accused of having an imitation AK47 assault rifle with intent to cause fear of violence; engaging in a provocative act by "chanting sectarian slogans"; improper use of a communications network to send a message which he knew to be false; using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace; and possessing a single round of ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

Donaldson spoke only to confirm that he understood the charges while giving evidence to the court.

A police officer said she believed she could connect him to each of the offences.

The charges came about after a video emerged of a man appearing to pretend to fire at an Orange Order parade in Randalstown.

A second video uploaded to the same Facebook page shows a man positioning himself close to those on parade before making offensive remarks and chanting a series of pro-IRA slogans. The defendant's solicitor said yesterday that Donaldson accepts it is him in the videos, and further that he was subjected to online threats against his safety.

On that basis, District Judge Nigel Broderick imposed a reporting restriction on Donaldson's address and freed him on his own bail of £500 with an alcohol prohibition.

He is to appear before the court again next month. As part of his bail conditions, Donaldson must not access social media, go within 100 metres of a parade of public procession, must reside at his home address, report to police three times a week and observe a curfew.

Belfast Telegraph

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