13 Apr 2012

A 21-year-old man from County Antrim has appeared in court in connection with offensive comments posted on the social networking site Facebook.

Dean Boyd, of Skye Park, Ballymena, was charged over sectarian comments which included a call to kill all Catholics.

The court heard that Boyd had been celebrating his 21st birthday and had drunk a lot of alcohol at the time.

The judge imposed a fine of £250 and told Boyd that if he ever repeated the offence he would be sent to jail.

A defence solicitor told the court that 20 minutes after his client had posted the comments, he removed them from Facebook.

He said his client realised they were inappropriate and was entirely remorseful.

The court also heard that Dean Boyd’s partner is a Catholic and he had a child which is being brought up as a Catholic.

The case was brought after Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay made a complaint to police about the comments which were posted last summer.

District judge Richard Wilson told Boyd: “I hope you realise how inappropriate and stupid your comments are.

“It is comments like this that excite and exacerbate any tensions within this community and we can well do without it.”