Northern Ireland news

Paedophile hunters found guilty of trying to intimidate journalist

 BBC reporter Kevin Magee being angrily confronted by members of a group styling itself as 'paedophile hunters'.

THREE men have been found guilty of attempting to intimidate a journalist investigating paedophile hunters.

George Keenan, Richard Curtis and Tim Heron were also convicted ofdisorderly behaviour and obstructing a road in south Belfast.

They were each given a three-month suspended prison sentence, the Courts Service confirmed.

The charges against them related to an alleged confrontation with BBC reporter Kevin Magee in February last year.

BBC NI reporter Kevin Magee questions George Keenan as part of his investigations.

He was said to have encountered a group at a coffee shop on Botanic Avenue while making a news report on paedophile hunter groups operating in Northern Ireland.

Footage showed him being followed outside as he made his way to a car.

Keenan (35) of Glenwood Court in the Dunmurry area of Belfast; 33-year-old Curtis, from Albert Road in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim; and Heron (29) of Cloverhill Vale in Bangor, Co Down, all admitted charges of disorderly behaviour and obstruction of a road.

They contested a further allegation of attempting by force, threats or menaces to cause Mr Magee to refrain from questioning them and others about paedophile hunting in his role as an investigative journalist.

But each of them was found guilty of the attempted intimidation charge at Belfast Magistrates' Court yesterday it was confirmed.

District Judge Peter Magill imposed three-month jail terms, suspended for two years, on all three defendants.

Keenan, Curtis and Heron have lodged appeals against that conviction. 

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