Belfast Telegraph

Facebook 'paedophile hunter' Joe McCloskey convicted of 97th offence

By George Jackson

Northern Ireland 'paedophile hunter', Joe McCloskey, who set up his own Facebook page to name and shame convicted child sex offenders, was convicted for the ninety-seventh time of a criminal offence.

McCloskey, 38, from Anderson Crescent in Limavady, has served twenty jail sentences on both sides of the border and has had almost £4,500 in fines imposed on him since his crime spree started in 1993.

Among his previous convictions are four for indecency offences, fourteen for drugs offences as well as numerous public order and driving offences.

In the Magistrate's Court in Derry on Thursday he pleaded guilty to a one punch attack on a man knocking his victim unconscious outside a bar in the Foyle Street area of the city on September 20 of last year. The attack followed an exchange of words between McCloskey and his victim.

Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin said McCloskey had recently started a job and took the matter very seriously. Mr. Devlin said after McCloskey had knocked his victim unconscious, there was no follow-up attack against the man.

District Judge Barney McElholm described McCloskey's actions as stupid and said he could just as easly have been before the Crown Court facing a murder charge, hoping that it would be reduced to a charge of manslaughter.

"This is the sort of thing that has to be discouraged. This cowardly practice that has developed to hit people with sucker punches without warning is an extremely dangerous phenomenon. We have seen all too often the results of such punches are essentially death or very serious brain injuries", he said.

The District Judge imposed an eight months jail sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered McCloskey to pay his victim £750 in compensation.

He told McCloskey to pay the amount within twenty-six weeks or face going to jail.

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