Paedophile posters campaign alleged

 

A 61-year-old man allegedly harassed his local publican by putting up posters claiming he was a paedophile after he was banned from the pub for singing, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

"Paedophile Perv", the posters, shown to a jury, read in large block letters.

Naming the publican as well as his pub, the words, cut out from newspapers, asked: "Are you drinking there? Why isn't he in jail?" At the bottom of the posters was the word "Kids".

Mr Bernard Clyne (61), Brighton Cottage, Foxrock, Co Dublin, who denies harassing the victim between April 2nd and April 21st, 2003, readily admitted to gardaí that he had put up the pictures, Det Sgt James Martin told the court.

He also told prosecuting counsel, Mr Remy Farrell, that Mr Clyne said he had done it because he "believed it was the right thing to do". He said he had been told by a friend of his that the publican was a paedophile and he decided to "flush him out" himself.

He denied in Garda interviews that he had conducted the poster campaign because he had been barred from the pub around Christmas the year before.

He made the admissions to gardaí after he was caught by his alleged victim and his employee in the early hours of the morning on Easter Sunday, April 21st, 2003, with a large number of the posters under his arm, a bucket of paste in one hand and a paint brush in the other.

When gardaí searched his car, which was parked nearby, 96 more copies of the poster were found. Det Sgt Martin said Mr Clyne admitted he had discarded the first batch of posters and had made a second. The new ones carried pictures of two boys and carried the same message. "I am not a great speller," he told gardaí when they pointed out mistakes in his lettering.

The publican told the jury that when he noticed the posters appearing on walls of car- parks, bus shelters, church walls, and near schools in the neighbourhood, he went through an extremely emotional time.

He had begun hunting for the perpetrator with friends and family. They took to driving through the area at night searching for the culprit. The trial continues before Judge Katherine Delahunt.