Facebook rant lands Sunderland man in court

John Egglestone outside Sunderland Magistrates' Court.
John Egglestone outside Sunderland Magistrates' Court.
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HATE-FILLED John Eggleston launched a tirade of “filth” on Facebook after declaring war on Northumbria Police.

The internet protester posted threatening and abusive comments against police officers which landed him in court.

During his online hate campaign, Eggleston:

* Threatened to kill police officers;

* Ridiculed the force, labelling officers “monkeys”;

* Left an obscene threat regarding Northumbria Chief Constable Sue Sim;

* Sent a handwritten rant to then MP Chris Mullin;

* Left posts mentioning Raoul Moat, senior court officials and even lyrics from rap star Eminem.

Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard how Eggleston, of East Moor Road, Pallion, launched a series of abusive messages on the social networking site in February.

He was arrested, but went on to unleash more hate-filled posts on another public Facebook page weeks later.

The 39-year-old denied two offences under the Communications Act but was found guilty after a trial at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

He told District Judge Roger Elsey that the comments were “physiological manipulation” aimed at provoking a response from police.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Chris Deavin read out some of the messages, which included a mention of gunman Moat.

Eggleston denied the comments would have caused anxiety to any members of the public who had read them.

He also denied he intended to carry out any of his threats, claiming they were part of a bid to get attention for his cause and there was no evidence other people had seen them.

Eggleston said he had been fighting a five-year battle against the force over claims of corruption.

This stemmed from two convictions in 2006 for assaulting police officers at Gill Bridge police station, which were later quashed on appeal to Newcastle Crown Court.

But Eggleston said he had come up against a “brick wall” in trying to instigate investigations into his allegations of corruption within the police, court system and Crown Prosecution Service.

Eggleston said: “I gave them all a chance to do something honourably and they did nothing.

“They did everything to take any ounce of faith I had in the whole justice system.

“Every ounce of respect in the justice system was taken away on every level.

“I am aware of things, like most people are, through the media but to see if for yourself was something else.

“A brick wall stands in my way, but I won’t stop hammering away at it.

“If people would just lift the rock up and see what is there.”

District Judge Roger Elsey said he found him guilty of both offences, based on the threats of violence and not his claims of corruption.

He said: “You must learn to understand that in acceptable society, posting this sort of filth on a public network is not acceptable.”

The case has been adjourned until next month for Probation Service reports.

Twitter: @janethejourno