Berwick woman admits offensive Facebook posts

A Berwick woman has admitted sending offensive and distressing Facebook messages to the owner of the former Lazeez restaurant.

Thursday, 14th September 2017, 06:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th September 2017, 13:03 pm
Lazeez in Berwick

Chanel Ryan, 23, of Main Street, Spittal, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Malicious Communications Act when she appeared at Berwick Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The court heard that on June 4, the defendant had been offered a job at the Golden Square restaurant by Ali Eldessouky.

However, when she announced it, three people sent her a copy of a video which Mr Eldessouky had posted on his Facebook page two years earlier. She believed the video, featuring Mr Eldessouky and friends, was sympathetic to terrorists following atrocities in London and Paris.

Prosecutor Rebecca Laverick told magistrates that Ryan sent Mr Eldessouky a series of abusive messages, some of which were of a racist nature, and she re-posted the video on her own Facebook page.

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“Those posts were seen by 77,000 people,” said Ms Laverick. “Mr Eldessouly says that, as a consequence, he had windows put out in his restaurant and he was afraid for his own and his family’s safety.”

The court heard that Mr Eldessouky had been cleared of any wrong-doing by police but. in a statement, he claimed the business had closed down as a consequence.

However, in defence, Ian O’Rourke, commented: “She does not accept she was responsible for the collapse of the business.”

Magistrates called for pre-sentence reports and the case was adjourned until today.