NI man imprisoned for threatening random Muslim after New Zealand bloodbath

Distraught worshippers at the scene of one of the New Zealand mosque shootings
Distraught worshippers at the scene of one of the New Zealand mosque shootings
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A Belfast man who phoned a Muslim to say he was going to be killed in the wake of the New Zealand terrorist massacre has been jailed for four months.

Billy Dean, 50, contacted the victim in England a day after the shootings at two mosques which claimed the lives of 51 people. Another 49 people were wounded.

Dean, of Ebor Street in The Village area of the city’s south, was convicted of improper use of communications to cause anxiety.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard today he made the call on March 16 this year after obtaining the victim’s number on a Facebook page for a mosque in Birmingham.

Prosecutors said he phoned the man and stated: “You will die today you stupid Muslim, you will be killed.”

West Midlands Police traced the number to Dean.

When officers went to the defendant’s home and made a call to that number his phone started to ring.

Dean claimed he did not remember anything about the incident because he had been drinking, the court heard.

A Crown lawyer said: “This phone call was made the day after the incident in New Zealand; the injured party reported that they were concerned for their family.”

Dean’s barrister said his client has “anger management problems and that if somebody doesn’t agree with his views he can, to put it bluntly, fly off the handle”.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall said that “the timing of it aggravates it even further... There will be four months immediate custody.”

Dean was then released on bail pending an appeal against the prison term imposed.