Northern Ireland news

DUP MLA Paul Frew sued for damages over social media posts

DUP assembly member Paul Frew. Picture by Cliff Donaldson.
Nevin Farrell

A DUP assembly member is being sued for damages for allegedly breaching a 14-year-old girl's rights by naming her on social media as being associated with youths accused of anti-social behaviour.

The girl, who cannot be named, is at the centre of a case brought before the Civil Court in Coleraine yesterday which heard allegations that after a 'spike' in reports of trouble in the village of Broughshane she was named on Facebook by North Antrim MLA Paul Frew.

Her father told the court he was amazed that somebody in Mr Frew's position of authority posted names of teenagers on social media linking them to anti-social behaviour in Broughshane and also in Ballymena's Harryville area, where the politician alleged his door was kicked in.

Barrister Julie Ellison, acting for the girl, said Mr Frew published names on Facebook including on his own page and a Broughshane community page.

She claimed Mr Frew had alleged her client was involved in "specific incidents".

The comments were made earlier this year before Mr Frew was chosen as chairman of the assembly's justice committee.

The politician's defence lawyer Gary McHugh said the plaintiff's claim was for £5,000 for 'personal injury' but there was no evidence of personal injury.

The case was adjourned to a date in July when Mr Frew's case is expected to be outlined.

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