York & North Yorkshire

York trainspotter wrongly branded sex offender on Facebook

Holgate Road Image copyright Google
Image caption The man, who has learning disabilities, was trainspotting near York station on Tuesday

A woman who branded a trainspotter as a sex offender in a Facebook post is being investigated by police.

The man, who has learning disabilities, was seen using binoculars in bushes near York railway station on Tuesday.

The woman reported him to police who established he was a keen trainspotter.

Police said she later uploaded a picture of the man on to Facebook and "wrongly branded him a sex offender". They have launched a malicious communication investigation.

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The Facebook post had attracted hundreds of abusive comments, North Yorkshire Police said.

"The incident has caused extreme distress to the man and his family," a force spokesman said.

"Our advice to members of the public is to pause before you post and think of the potential consequences of uploading spurious and malicious messages and the devastating effect it can have on its victims.

"While the member of the public was right to call the police about suspicious behaviour, uploading a photo of him and wrongly calling him a sex offender was extremely irresponsible."

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