Ipswich man guilty of harassment after malicious Facebook post

Ipswich man Nikolas Reynolds was found guilty in his absence of harassment

A screenshot of the post was shown to the victim by a third party - Credit: Getty Images

An Ipswich man has been convicted of harassment after making malicious Facebook accusations about someone he claimed owed him money.

Nikolas Reynolds failed to attend Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Monday to answer a single charge of harassment from June this year.

Magistrates found the case proven in his absence and issued a warrant for the 34-year-old's arrest.

Prosecutor Mark Milkovics said an associate of Reynolds' had received a threatening voicemail message on June 13.

The victim was later sent a screenshot of a Facebook post, published the following day, claiming he was a sex offender and had "robbed" Reynolds of £120.

The post included an offer of half the total to anyone who could "assist in getting the money".

"The threat was made because he believed he owed him money," Mr Milkovics told the court.

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"There is no evidence the victim is a sex offender. It was purely malicious and intended to either cause him distress, or encourage others to cause him problems.

"It concerned him greatly because he thought members of the public may turn vigilante and damage his property."

Reynolds, 34, who was listed by the court as living in temporary housing in Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, will be sentenced at a later date.

Mr Milkovics said the case had already been adjourned once for the service of witness statement to be used as written evidence in proceedings.

Magistrates said they were satisfied the case could be tried in the absence of the defendant.

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