Northern Ireland news

Charges against a man accused of pointing a gun at an Orange parade withdrawn

Christopher Donaldson leaving Antrim Courthouse following an earlier hearing

Charges against a man accused of pointing a gun at an Orange parade have been withdrawn.

During a mention that lasted seconds at Antrim Magistrates Court, a prosecuting lawyer said the PPS were withdrawing all charges against 34-year-old Christopher Donaldson.

Donaldson, whose address has been made the subject of a reporting restriction, was not at court having been excused but he had faced five charges arising from an incident on July 8 last year.

The 34-year-old was accused of having an imitation AK47 assault rifle with intent to cause fear of violence, doing a provocative act by “chanting sectarian slogans,” improper use of a communication network to send a message which he knew to be false, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace and possessing a single round of ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

The charges arose after a video emerged of a man appearing to pretend to fire at an Orange Parade in Randalstown.

A second video uploaded to the same Facebook page shows a man positioning himself close to those on parade before making offensive remarks and chanting pro-IRA slogans.

Previously the court heard that Donaldson accepts its him in the videos and further that he had been subjected to online threats against his safety.

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