Belfast Telegraph

DUP man threatened with acid attack online

 

Christopher Stalford was ‘disturbed’ by the tweet
Christopher Stalford was ‘disturbed’ by the tweet
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

A DUP MLA said he has reported a Twitter user to the police for offering anyone £150 to throw acid at him.

The comments were made about Christopher Stalford on Tuesday.

It came after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage pressed charges against a man who threw a milkshake at him while campaigning in Newcastle.

Northumbria Police subsequently charged 32-year-old Paul Crowther with common assault and criminal damage.

In response to the incident, Mr Stalford posted a message reading: "Milkshake today. Acid tomorrow."

In response, one user wrote: "COMPETITION TIME. First person to milkshake Christopher Stalford will receive £100 from me."

Underneath the comment, however, a sinister message was posted, stating: "I'll go 150 for acid."

Mr Stalford called the message "poisonous" and said it had left him "disturbed".

"I really enjoy Twitter for debate but you have to draw the line when it develops into threats and abuse," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"When someone advertises online that they'd pay for acid to be thrown in your face, it's actually quite frightening.

"I think I was right to report it and I hope police will carry out their investigations. Twitter can be a great platform, even if we don't all agree on our politics. But more and more we're finding a systematic trolling of people in public life.

"I'm grateful for the 'mute' function and I've had to use it over a hundred times in the last three or four months. Some of the abuse directed at me, and others, has been very disturbing.

"There has been a pattern of accounts being set up explicitly to troll people.

"I chose to be in public life and I know it's not going to be an easy ride. But a threat to harm is not easy to take.

"I have a wife and four young children under the age of 10 and when it becomes poisonous and threatening it affects them, too."

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