PSNI to investigate naming of complainant in Belfast trial on social media 2 years ago

PSNI to investigate naming of complainant in Belfast trial on social media

The complainant's legal right to anonymity was violated on social media.

PSNI will investigate the naming on social media of the complainant in the trial of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

In a statement PSNI Chief Superintendent Paula Hillman has confirmed that investigations are underway, saying:

"I would like to pay tribute to the young woman who had the resolve and confidence to come forward and put her faith in police and the criminal justice process. In addition to this, she was named on social media sites during the trial contrary to her legal entitlement. Any breach of this entitlement is and will be investigated."

Noting that she accepted the jury's decision, Hillman went on to express her faith in the judicial system, while adding that the verdict "should not deter victims of serious sexual crime from contacting police."

"As police officers our role is to keep people safe. Anyone can be the victim of sexual crime regardless of age, background, status or gender.

"There is no room in society for tolerance of sexual crime. We understand how difficult it can be for someone to report a rape, but let me assure you today that if you choose to speak to police, you will be listened to, respected, treated sensitively, have your report thoroughly investigated, and you will be signposted to support services such as Nexus and Victim Support among others.

"Our message is clear, please continue to report."