The brother of a man awaiting sentence for sexual assault was deemed to have lied to a court yesterday over an attempt to contact the victim on Facebook.
Dean Crooks is due to be sentenced next month at Belfast Crown Court for sexually assaulting a woman in 2018.
Crooks (37), with an address at Conal Place in Dunoon in Scotland, is currently on bail, and an application to revoke it was made on the grounds he breached a condition not to contact his victim.
The Crown made the application after the victim received a friend request and a 'thumbs up' message from Crooks's Facebook profile in the early hours of May 15.
During a remote hearing at Belfast Crown Court, Crooks' half-brother Alexander Boylan (21) appeared via mobile phone from Scotland, where he claimed he was the one responsible for sending the messages from his brother's profile.
Defence barrister Martin Rodgers said there was an acceptance there had been communication, but said his client Crooks "was not responsible".
Mr Rodgers said Mr Boylan "accepts total responsibility for making the contact" which was "not done with the knowledge of the defendant".
When questioned in court today, Mr Boylan said he had been drunk when he tried to made contact with the victim, and used his brother's Facebook profile as he forgot the passwords to his own.
Crown prosecutor Laura Ievers asked Mr Boylan how he searched for the woman on Facebook, and when asked how her surname was spelt, he replied: "I'm not too sure."
Ms Ievers then asked Mr Boylan if he was claiming responsibility for sending the friend request to protect his brother in a "cover-up". Mr Boylan denied this and repeated that he had been drinking when he send the messages.
Judge Geoffrey Miller QC branded his account as "entirely fictitious", said he was covering for his half-brother and that when asked, he couldn't spell the woman's surname.
Saying his account was both "false and misleading", Judge Miller said this amounted to perjury. The judge then told Mr Boylan that while he wasn't taking action on this occasion, such behaviour could lead to imprisonment.
He said he will "revisit the breach" when he sentences Crooks next month.