| 15.1°C Belfast

Three 'paedophile hunters' charged over confrontation with BBC reporter

kevin magee

Three so-called paedophile hunters have been charged over an incident during which they surrounded a BBC reporter in Belfast city centre.

The men, aged 28, 32 and 34, have been charged with a number of offences, including attempted intimidation, common assault, false imprisonment and disorderly behaviour.

They are expected to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Tuesday morning.

A 44-year-old man was also arrested on Monday on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and false imprisonment. The PSNI said he remains in custody assisting police with their enquiries on Tuesday morning.

The arrests came two weeks after an incident on Botanic Avenue on February 6 when BBC reporter Kevin Magee was confronted in a coffee shop by a group of men shouting at him, before following him along the street.

Some of the men then sat on the road in front of Mr Magee's car in an apparent attempt to prevent him from leaving.

Mr Magee had been making a news report about the activities of so-called paedophile hunters at the time at the attack, and had interviewed people involved with groups earlier that day. His report has since been aired by the BBC.

A spokesperson for the group told BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show earlier this month that they believed Mr Magee was in breach of the BBC code of conduct.

There is no suggestion that Mr Magee had done anything wrong.

Thousands watched the events unfold live online in a video which has since been removed from the Predators NI Facebook page.

Belfast Telegraph