Alleged paedophile hunter to contest intimidation charges

A third alleged paedophile hunter is to contest charges of attempting to intimidate an investigative journalist, a court has heard.

Tuesday, 13th November 2018, 2:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th November 2018, 4:38 pm

George Keenan also intends to fight claims that he used disorderly behaviour and obstructed a road in south Belfast.

The 34-year-old’s lawyer confirmed he is pleading not guilty to all the allegations against him.

Two co-accused, Richard Curtis, 33, and Tim Heron, 29, have already entered formal denials to the same charges.

A judge at Belfast Magistrates’ Court listed the three defendants’ cases for a contested hearing next February.

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

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.

Curtis, from Albert Road in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim; Heron, of Cloverhill Vale in Bangor, Co Down; and Keenan, of Glenwood Court in the Dunmurry area of Belfast, are all charged with attempting by force, threat or menace to cause Mr Magee to refrain from broadcasting a television interview.

They are also jointly accused of unlawfully attempting to stop him from questioning them and others about paedophile hunting in his role as an investigative journalist.

The disorderly behaviour and obstruction of a road charges relate to the same alleged incident.

Keenan appeared back in court on Tuesday for his response to the allegations against them.

Defence solicitor Michael Madden confirmed his client’s not guilty plea to the charges.

With CCTV footage, photographs and social media material expected to feature in the main trial, District Judge Fiona Bagnall listed a further review in December.