Teenager charged with making online death threats

April 15, 2019

A Newtownhamilton teenager appeared before Newry Magistrates Court on Friday charged with making online death threats.

Matthews Burns (19), of Dundalk Road, is accused of threatening to kill the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, and of making a similar threat to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Burns directed his threats to Ms Ardern on social media just days after the Christchurch shootings last month where 50 people were shot dead in attacks on two mosques.  A Twitter message with a photo of gun silencer and the message “you’re next” was said to have been sent following the mass killings.

Nineteen-year-old Matthew Burns from Newtownhamilton is pictured emerging from Newry Magistrates Court on Friday where he was charged with making online death threats

The court heard how during police interviews, he admitted to having far-right political tendancies and negative attitudes towards minorities, Muslims and the LGBTQ community.  Volumes of similar posts towards minorities were said to be under investigation by the PSNI’s cyber crime unit.

Burns was released on bail into the care of his parents under the condition that he have no internet access and adheres to a curfew.

The case will be heard again on May 8th.