Facebook used to identify alleged NI criminal

By Gary Adair

Facebook has been used to identify a Northern Ireland man accused of committing a burglary at a property in Londonderry.

Social media is being used increasingly in legal cases, in particular in divorce hearings at family law courts as spouses make allegations about inappropriate behaviour or evidence of concealed wealth. Users of Facebook and other social media have also been warned of the dangers of informing the public at large of your whereabouts with real-time posts linked to GPS, which burglars can potentially use to identify whether someone is at home. However, in a rare case Facebook has been used to potentially identify an alleged burglar.

A man alleges that someone broke into his home in Derry and stole £4,000 of his business takings on 8th June. The property had a CCTV security system and the owner recognised the burglar as a client from his mobile shop business. He was then able to identify the man by looking through Facebook. Caoimhin Gallagher, aged 22, was arrested and charged as a result, and the case is now before the High Court.