‘Self-styled hunter of paedophiles’ in court over range of charges


A “self-styled paedophile hunter” accused of intimidation and having a crossbow was refused bail on Friday.

Deputy district judge Austin Kennedy remanded 24-year-old Caolan Murray into custody at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Murray, from Mark Court in Lurgan, confirmed he understood the charges against him: two counts of common assault and possessing a crossbow on February 22, along with two counts of attempted intimidation and a charge of false imprisonment allegedly committed on January 18.

A prosecutor described Murray as a “self-styled paedophile hunter” and said the charges relate to a “sting, so-called” where Murray targeted a man close to his home and live-streamed the incident on the internet.

Afterwards Murray confronted the same man on February 22 where he allegedly went to the man’s home “with a crossbow”, an incident the court also heard was streamed live on Facebook.

“The target was punched in the face receiving injuries,” said the lawyer. The court heard police enquiries also established that Murray “was already in a dispute” with the so-called target who is an openly gay man, adding that police believe there is an element of “homophobia” in the background.

Judge Kennedy remanded Murray into custody to appear again on March 23.

The court was also told Murray was on bail awaiting sentence for offences of disorderly behaviour and possessing cannabis.

In relation to sentencing for this, the judge jailed him for two months and imposed a £250 fine.