Judge bans a Facebook page exposing paedophiles and awards £20,000 damages to convicted sex offender

This judgment against Joseph McCloskey’s Facebook page identifying CG as a convicted paedophile and a danger to children, clearly conflicts with statements made by both Labour and Tory ministers and spokespeople declaring that they wanted to give the public the right to information about convicted criminals residing in their communities. It’s an emotive subject. I know social workers, who were strongly against such policies because of the dangers of vigilante justice and mob violence. While former criminals should have the chance to put the past behind them and move on, in the case of paedophiles people should also have the right to know about dangers to their children. There have been far, far too many cover-ups of appalling abuse for such a far-reaching ban to be acceptable. And as this article points out, all of the information put up by Mr McCloskey was already in the public record. It was not private in anyway, and so should not have been treated as such. For most people, this is thus a gross miscarriage of justice, where the offender apparently is granted more rights and protection than his potential victims.

Westminster Confidential

An extraordinary ruling by a Northern Ireland judge will lead to a chilling effect on people using the internet to expose convicted paedophiles and give hope to sex offenders that they can make money from people and organisations attacking them for their crimes.

The  Belfast case has been picked up by the excellent Inforrm blog which gives a detailed legal analysis of what happened from Lorna Skinner ,a barrister at Matrix Chambers.

The facts appear to be these. Joseph McCloskey set up a Facebook profile page called ” Keep Our Kids Safe from Predators 2 ” which posted information about a convicted sex offender called CG. A similar page was set up by RS the father of one  of CG’s victims.

CG’s lawyers complained about the postings on both sites.

Inforrm says: ” Broadly speaking, each consisted of the publication of a photograph of CG together with information identifying him as…

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