Belfast Telegraph

Loyalist who kicked Catholic to death attended paedophile hunter protest in Belfast

 

By Ali Gordon

DISAPPOINTED paedophile hunters were left whinging on social media after fewer than 100 people turned up to support their protest at the weekend..

The under pressure online vigilante groups were expecting thousands at their meeting outside Belfast's City Hall and organisers had planned to march to the BBC headquarters in Ormeau Avenue.

But within an hour of the protest against the PSNI - who they believe are trying to protect alleged local child abusers - there were only around 70 rain-soaked supporters and they didn't carry out the threat to march to the BBC.

Among the gathering was sectarian killer Glen Kane - who is also a well- known Union flag protester. The loyalist kicked a Catholic man to death during a riot in 1992 and was jailed for nine years for the manslaughter of Kieran Abram.

Kane, who was wearing a camouflage jacket and tried to hide his identity by putting his hood up and covering his face when he saw pictures were being taken, also previously protested at an anti-refugee rally at Belfast's City Hall.

"We are disappointed at the lack of support here today," said Predator Catchers NI in a Facebook post. "Tens of thousands of followers and there's not even a few hundred here to show support. Turns out it's not just the PSNI and the government that don't care about our kids.

"There's more people here from England and Dublin than from Belfast, thank you everyone who has came to show your support."

The group, who have almost 85,000 followers on Facebook, describe themselves as "freelance investigative journalists who focus on online sexual predators and the inadequacies of the Police Service in Northern Ireland".

But they have come under scrutiny in the last two months after a mob of them confronted BBC reporter Kevin Magee, intimidating and threatening him after he attempted to question them about their motives, methods and criminal records back in January.

At yesterday's protest, attended by some self-styled paedophile hunters from England and Wales, a BBC journalist and cameraman were targeted by English protesters.

One of the women, who calls herself Tess Hunter Decoy on Facebook, later posted on social media account The Child Protection Officers that four BBC journalists were arrested at the protest.

The BBC last night denied this claim completely, saying no BBC journalists were arrested.

At the protest, flags were erected on the gates of City Hall saying 'Free George Keenan' with the names of fellow Predator Catchers NI members Richard Curtis, Tim Herron and Sharon Shanks also printed on the flag.

The four were arrested and questioned by cops last month as part of a police investigation into paedophile hunting groups. George Keenan was later remanded in custody for breaching his bail conditions by using social media, but has since been released.

Last night, Predator Catchers NI were also forced to defend their Facebook whinging after many people hit back, saying they had to work or had children to mind and that's why they couldn't attend the protest.

"The post isn't about people who are working or have children themselves to look after or anything else to do... We don't expect life to stop for us," they added.

"It's about the people who comment day in and day out showing support, who repeatedly said at every chance they would be there today, and then didn't show up.

"It's easy to support someone online, physical support is obviously harder."

Yesterday's lack of support was another blow for the self-styled local paedophile hunters.

On Friday police charged three of them with a number of offences including false imprisonment, intimidation, attempted intimidation, criminal damage and common assault.

A 24-year-old woman and 28-year-old man were arrested in Ballymena while a 51-year-old man was scooped in Newtownabbey.

The 51-year-old was also charged with possession of a class B drug and possession of a class C drug.

The trio were released from police custody and are due in court next month.

Belfast Telegraph

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