Investigation | 

Solicitors issue Facebook legal notice to provide details of user who threatened Sunday World reporter's child

Journalist Patricia Devlin received a message earlier this month which said: “Your baby will suffer very soon from rape very nice”

Journalist Patricia Devlin

Eimear McGovern

Solicitors acting on behalf of journalist Patricia Devlin have issued a legal notice against Facebook to provide the details of an account targeting the Sunday World crime reporter.

Lawyers for Ms Devlin said they had also written to the PSNI asking them to expedite the investigation into a social media message in which the journalist’s child was threatened.

Ms Devlin received a message earlier this month which said: “Your baby will suffer very soon from rape very nice.”

Writing on Twitter after receiving the latest message, Ms Devlin said: “This is what happens when authorities fail to pursue and hold to account vile creatures using fake accounts to make threats.

“Impunity emboldens these sickos. When did it become OK to threaten children with rape?”

Ms Devlin had received another such message in October 2019 in which a threat was made to rape her then-newborn son and was sent to the journalist’s personal Facebook account. Last year, she lodged a complaint over what she said was a PSNI failure to investigate the threat.

It was signed with the name of a neo-Nazi terror group, Combat 18, which in the past has had links to loyalist paramilitaries.

Ms Devlin told the Belfast Telegraph on Monday she has received a phone call from the PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne in which he offered his support and assurances the PSNI would fully investigate this latest threat received in May. He has also offered to meet Ms Devlin in the coming weeks.

Facebook and the PSNI have been asked for a response to this story.

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