Threats made against man accused of pointing fake rifle at Orange parade

Christopher Donaldson leaves Antrim Magistrates' Court after his appearance onTuesday
Christopher Donaldson leaves Antrim Magistrates' Court after his appearance onTuesday

A man accused of pointing a fake assault rifle at an Orange parade accepts it is himself on the video, a court has heard.

Antrim Magistrates’ Court also heard that threats had been made against Christopher Donaldson on social media.

The video that appeared on Facebook showing Christopher Donaldson apparently pointing a fake rifle at an Orange Order parade

The video that appeared on Facebook showing Christopher Donaldson apparently pointing a fake rifle at an Orange Order parade

Donaldson, whose address has been made the subject of a reporting restriction as a result of the threats, appeared in court on five charges arising from the incident on July 8.

The 34-year-old is accused of having an imitation AK47 assault rifle with intent to cause fear of violence, doing a provocative act by “chanting sectarian slogans,” improper use of a communication network to send a message which he knew to be false, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace and possessing a single round of ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

Donaldson spoke only to confirm that he understood the charges.

A police officer said she believed she could connect him to each of the offences.

The charges arise after a video emerged of a man appearing to pretend to fire at an Orange Order parade in Randalstown.

A second video uploaded to the same Facebook page shows a man positioning himself close to those on parade before making offensive remarks and chanting pro-IRA slogans.

The defendant’s solicitor revealed that Donaldson accepts it is him in the videos and further that he had been subjected to online threats against his safety.

On that basis, District Judge Nigel Broderick imposed a reporting restriction on Donaldson’s address and freed him on his own bail of £500 with an alcohol prohibition and to appear again next month.

As part of his bail conditions, Donaldson must not access social media, go within 100 metres of a parade or public procession, must reside at his home address, report to police three times a week and observe a curfew.