MP Campbell in web messages warning

Gregory Campbell outing going MLA who was returned to Foyle.  (1005JB06)
Gregory Campbell outing going MLA who was returned to Foyle. (1005JB06)

The DUP’s Gregory Campbell says the sentencing of a Derry man for posting a menacing comment about him online should serve as a stark warning to others.

Mr Campbell spoke out following the conviction of Daryl O’Donnell who was fined £500 and given a five-month suspended jail sentence at Derry Magistrate’s Court.

O’Donnell, a father of two from Belvedere Park in Foyle Springs, posted the message as a reaction to media comments attributed to the East Derry MP in June of last year about the Saville Report into the Bloody Sunday killings.

At the Magistrate’s Court in Derry, in his reserved sentencing, District Judge Barney McElholm said Mr. Campbell was entitled to state his opinion whether or not people agreed with what he said.

On his Facebook page, O’Donnell wrote that Mr. Campbell “should get a bullet in the head”.

The District Judge said O’Donnell’s comments were menacing and offensive and should not have been posted on Facebook.

He said O’Donnell, who had 22 previous convictions, 11 of them for public order offences, did “not come before the court with clean hands”.

Meanwhile, Mr. McElholm imposed another five month suspended jail sentence consecutively on O’Donnell plus a £200 fine when he admitted committing disorderly behaviour at Guildhall Square on May 19 of this year.

“When this man opens his mouth he does not seem to engage his brain first”, said the judge.

Following his Facebook sentencing, O’Donnell said he was “glad it’s all over, I can now get on with my life but I have no regrets”.

Mr Campbell, meanwhile, said he was “not concerned with the severity or lack of severity in the sentence”.

He said: “The important thing for me was it established a precedent and others will see there can be consequences.

“No threats will make me deviate one iota from my position to tell it as it is.”