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Man charged with making threats to kill Health Minister Robin Swann

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Stock photo of social media apps (Nick Ansell/PA)

Stock photo of social media apps (Nick Ansell/PA)

PA

Stock photo of social media apps (Nick Ansell/PA)

A 43-year-old man has been charged with offences including harassment and threats to kill after alleged malicious comments were made on social media against Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann.

The man will appear at Newtownards Magistrates' Court on Thursday September 17.

The charges follows the arrest of the man in the Newtownards area on Thursday afternoon in relation to malicious comments made on social media the previous day.

Ulster Unionist leader Steve Aiken condemned the alleged threats.

"The torrent of abuse and lies which Robin has had to put with from some anonymous trolls and others who should know better has been abhorrent."

He called on social media platforms to take responsibility for the threats by banning anonymous trolling online.

"If the social media giants aren't prepared to act voluntarily, then Government needs to intervene," he said.

"He took on a job which no-one else wanted and he has committed long days and nights making difficult decisions, working with his colleagues in the Department of Health and the NHS, to protect the public during a global pandemic, the likes of which we haven't faced in 100 years," he added.

"He has been verbally attacked, threats of physical violence made against him and his family, and attempts made to undermine his good character.

“I commend the PSNI who have acted swiftly to make an arrest," he said.

Belfast Telegraph