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Alleged Northern Ireland ”Paedophile Hunter’ Has Charges Withdrawn

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A Ballymena man who had been accused of being a so-called ‘paedophile hunter’ has had all the charges he faced withdrawn by prosecutors.

The development regarding Mark O’Brien (31), of Millfield, happened at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday.

No further details were given to the court regarding the withdrawal of the charges.

The defendant, was was not present in the courtroom, was represented by defence barrister Francis Rafferty.
The defendant had previously been accused of false imprisonment of a male on January 31 this year.
He was also accused of assaulting the male and had also been charged with attempting to intimidate the male from his home in Coleraine.

When the defendant originally appeared in court in March this year he had been released on his own bail of £500 with a number of conditions.

The conditions included not having any contact with the alleged injured party and he had to sign once a week at Ballymena Police Station.

The defendant was also to have no contact with a co-accused ‘George Keenan’.

O’Brien was not to use any online social media platforms ‘or any online dating applications or websites’.
He was also ordered to ‘desist from any activity associated with paedophile hunting groups to include no role whatsoever in the identification or confrontation of those suspected of online sexual offences or have any contact directly or indirectly with any persons associated with paedophile hunting groups’.

Another bail condition said he had to ‘refrain from sharing any information directly or indirectly about any ongoing police investigation with any third party via any means. He is not to access any site containing public records, electoral roll, etc and to have no access to a mobile phone or communications device with a capability beyond voice calls and simple text messages’.

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