A Belfast law graduate has called for new legislation to curb vigilante paedophile hunters after he was wrongly identified as a sexual predator and falsely accused of grooming children.
The Queen’s University graduate was left confused following a sudden influx of friend requests on social media, before it became apparent that he shared the same name as one of the vigilante group’s targets.
A barrage of profane abuse soon followed.
“It made me feel sick to the stomach. I was so angry when I realised what had happened, so many people were calling me a paedo,” he said.
“Some of it was absolutely disgusting.”
The aspiring solicitor was also inundated with messages from friends who believed he was the person accused and felt like he had “no choice” but to post an online status in which he rigorously defended himself.
He also criticised those who are behind the vigilante movement, but the post only attracted more abuse.
“I have been called a c***, a paedo sympathiser and told that I should be ashamed of myself,” he said.
“I had to make it clear that it wasn’t me, but the real reason for the hateful messages is simply because I have chosen not to go along with the mob mentality and believe in due process.”