Man posted crude comment beside picture of woman on social media - court hears

A man who posted a picture of a woman on social media calling her a “cheating wh*re” then claimed he had intimate footage of her which he threatened to upload to the internet.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 8:57 am

At Antrim Magistrates Court sitting in Ballymena on Tuesday (June 1), David Wilson Peacock (33), of Dunvale in Ballymena, was sentenced on a charge of persistent improper use of a public electronic communications network ‘for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience of needless anxiety to another’.

The defendant appeared via video link from his solicitor’s office and heard a prosecutor say that on March 21 this year police received a report of the defendant “threatening to post intimate videos of a female on a public social media page”.

The prosecution lawyer said Peacock had “already allegedly posted” a non-intimate “picture of the female” on a Buy and Sell page “calling her a ‘cheating wh*re’.”

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The court was told police made contact with the woman and she told them she had sent the defendant a message earlier on that date regarding the ending of a relationship.

The court heard the woman showed police multiple messages from Peacock in which he “threatened to post intimate videos and pictures of her on social media”.

Peacock made full admissions to police saying he had downed “26-28 beers” when he sent the messages and claimed it had been a reaction to a message sent to him by the woman when reference was made to her “cheating”.

The defendant told police he never would have sent the messages to the woman had he been sober “and he would never post any intimate photos or videos of her”.

A defence solicitor said it had been a “knee-jerk reaction” to the message about the ending of a relationship and Peacock had no intention of sharing any video as “no video exists”.

He added: “The only image that was actually printed was a photograph but nothing of a more intimate type”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said: “This was a nasty thing to do. These offences, sadly, are becoming all too prevalent in the courts and is one of the disadvantages of free and easy access to the internet whereby people can communicate in this way, wholly inappropriate, and no doubt would have caused great distress and annoyance to the complainant”.

Thankfully, the judge added, there had been on repetition and “it appears to have been an isolated drunken incident, however, it is still a serious matter and needs to be addressed”.

Peacock was put on Probation for year with conditions involving addressing his offending behaviour and participation in an alcohol programme.