Teen given more time over Manchester terror comment charge

Kevin O'Neill leaves Belfast Magistrates' Court after his appearance on Monday
Kevin O'Neill leaves Belfast Magistrates' Court after his appearance on Monday

A teenager accused of posting a grossly offensive message about the Manchester bombing on social media must confirm in three weeks if he is contesting the charge, a judge has directed.

Kevin O’Neill appeared back before Belfast Magistrates’ Court over comments he allegedly made online in the wake of the atrocity.

The 19-year-old, from Cliftonville Road in the city, is charged with improper use of a public electronic communications network.

He was arrested following the terror attack under the Malicious Communications Act.

Twenty-two people were killed and scores more injured when a suicide bomber targeted fans leaving an Ariana Grande pop concert at the Manchester Arena on May 22.

O’Neill did not speak during his latest brief appearance in the dock.

Although he was due to confirm his attitude to the case against him, a defence lawyer requested more time to consider the charge.

District Judge Mark Hamill agreed to the three-week adjournment.

Releasing O’Neill on continuing bail, Mr Hamill indicated he will be expected to enter a plea at that stage.