Belfast Telegraph

O'Doherty: I'm still wary of Beckett over 'threat'

By Allan Preston

A Belfast journalist has said he "will continue to be wary" of a sports pundit who retweeted violent threats against him.

In May this year Malachi O'Doherty said he felt threatened after football and biking pundit Liam Beckett appeared to support a tweet saying he should be "done" in the legs and mouth after he had made critical comments about motorcycle road racing.

Mr Beckett has since apologised for the tweet, which he said was made while at a function and while not wearing his reading glasses.

He said: "This was a complete error on my behalf; anyone who would know me would know that is not how I do business."

A regular sports commentator on the BBC, Mr Beckett will be part of its coverage of the Armoy Road Races in Co Antrim this weekend.

In May the corporation said: "We are aware of issues raised by Liam Beckett's retweet on Friday evening and will be looking into them."

When asked yesterday by the Belfast Telegraph what action had been taken, the BBC said: "This matter has been resolved to our satisfaction. We have nothing further to say about it."

In response Mr O'Doherty said: "I do not require the BBC to do any more.

"What they do in regards to Liam Beckett is their business and I don't wish to intervene in that.

"I've made a decision not to try and damage his career or go to the police about him.

"The other side of the story is that it's not finished between me and Liam Beckett.

"He's a man who has incited violence against me, he's a man who I'm determined to avoid and will be wary of in any future engagement with him.

"The BBC have had their discussions with him. I went to them and said: 'Look, this is another contributor in the BBC who has expressed violence towards me and I need to know that I'm safe in the BBC building'. They have persuaded me that if I run into him in a BBC corridor he's not going to deck me. Well, that's very nice and reassuring."

Belfast Telegraph


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