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Court proceedings begin against man accused of 'grossly offensive' social media post during Noah Donohoe search

Jamie Shaw

Court proceedings began today against a man accused of a "grossly offensive" social media posting during the search for tragic Belfast schoolboy Noah Donohoe.

Jamie Shaw, 26, is charged with improper use of a public electronic communications network.

The case relates to a video clip allegedly circulated online while a huge operation was underway to locate the missing 14-year-old.

Noah's body was found in a north Belfast storm drain on June 27 - six days after he disappeared.

The St Malachy's College pupil vanished during a cycle trip from his home in the south of the city.

A post-mortem examination established that he died as a result of drowning.

Shaw, of Fortwilliam Park in Belfast, faces a single count of using a communications network on June 25 to send "a message or other matter that was grossly offensive".

He had been listed for a first appearance at the city's Magistrates Court today, but was not required to attend due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Instead, a police officer formally connected him to the charge in his absence.

District Judge Mark Hamill agreed to put the case back for a further hearing in September.

Outside court Shaw's solicitor, Denis Moloney, confirmed: "The matter has been adjourned for eight weeks pending further detailed discussions with the Public Prosecution Service, with whom we have been liaising over the past number of days, and communication with the judge setting out the reasons for the adjournment."

Belfast Telegraph