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Call for police probe into LAD parody site

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The "Loyalists Against Democracy" social media platforms disappeared last week.

The "Loyalists Against Democracy" social media platforms disappeared last week.

PA Archive/PA Images

Alan Lewis

Alan Lewis

The "Loyalists Against Democracy" social media platforms disappeared last week.

An Ulster Unionist Party councillor has called on the PSNI to investigate the Loyalists Against Democracy (LAD) social media parody account.

Newry, Mourne and Down councillor Alan Lewis stated that police know who was responsible for the social media pages.

On Monday night, a cafe in Co Antrim, which is linked to the founder of LAD, was attacked.

Arden's of Whitehead owner Barbara Whearty shared images of a broken front window and the premises also had green paint thrown over it.

Her husband John-Paul created the controversial LAD account but says he parted ways with it four years ago. Belfast comedian Paddy Raff admitted earlier this week that he had a role in producing content for the controversial social media account.

However, he disputed claims that he was involved in its creation or ever taking charge of the account.

LAD, which was accused by critics of mocking the loyalist community in Northern Ireland, was suddenly shut down last week following calls from Mr Whearty to close it.

Mr Lewis stated that the people behind the LAD accounts must be held accountable if any laws were broken.

"I myself have been the victim of online trolling, my young family targeted and abused, vile comments posted under pictures of my kids," Mr Lewis said.

"I know only too well the feeling of being victimised.

"The group LAD, which had profiles on both Facebook and Twitter, was rarely satirical, rarely funny, regularly nasty and vindictive.

"Without question some of the posts went too far, the screen shots are widely available, the videos still online.

"Police must now conduct a full, open and transparent investigation.

"This was systematic, orchestrated and sustained abuse of one section of the community, drawn out over many years."

A Police Service spokesperson said: "We are aware of a statement from an elected representative in relation to a social media account."

Belfast Telegraph