Belfast Telegraph

Domestic violence charge withdrawn against man behind Loyalists Against Democracy

Barbara Whearty with husband John Paul.
Barbara Whearty with husband John Paul.

A charge of assault has been withdrawn against John Whearty, once associated with the Loyalists Against Democracy (LAD) social media accounts.

Mr Whearty, known as John Paul or 'JP', was listed to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on Monday morning at 10.30am, charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The charges related to an incident allegedly involving his wife Barbera Whearty, who owns Belfast city centre eatery Cafe Cuan, and took place at an address in Joy Street, Belfast on October 17.

During a brief hearing at court a Public Prosecution Service (PPS) solicitor confirmed that there would be no prosecution against Mr Whearty.

A Northern Ireland Court Service spokesperson confirmed that no plea had been entered to the charge and that the court ordered the charge to be withdrawn.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) confirmed that a file relating to the case had been received from police.

"The available evidence was carefully considered by a public prosecutor and the test for prosecution was applied," a PPS spokesperson said.

"It was concluded that the test was not met on evidential grounds. All parties have been informed of the decision.”

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed that a 40-year-old man was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm following the report of an incident at Joy Street, Belfast on Thursday October 17.

"As per our normal procedure the charges were reviewed by the PPS who directed no prosecution," the spokesperson said.

Mr Whearty, originally from Dundalk, is best known as one of the brains behind the LAD @ladfleg Twitter and Facebook account set up in response to the 2012 loyalist flag protests.

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