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'Citizen journalist' who named Thomas Cashman before he was charged in court for 'harassment'

A YOUTUBER who discusses organised crime has appeared in court after being charged with harassment in connection with a podcast and tweets about a Merseyside businessman.

Paul Hendry, 59, (above) from Pevensey Bay, East Sussex, who goes by the online name Art Hostage, appeared online via remote link at Liverpool Knowsley Magistrates' Court on Wednesday after being summonsed to court by postal requisition to face one count of harassment of Ian Stewart.

The vlogger often focusses on the Liverpool gangland scene and has been known to name alleged suspects for unsolved murders.

These included naming Thomas Cashman, who shot dead Olivia Pratt-Korbel, aged nine, as a suspect within days of her murder and before he was charged.

Cashman was caged for 42 years for her murder earlier this month.

It is alleged that on November 8 last year Hendry pursued from his home a course of conduct, which amounted to the harassment of Mr Stewart, and which he knew or ought to have known amounted to the harassment of him.

The alleged circumstances are that he "made a YouTube video and sent tweets about him."

The court heard that Mr Stewart claims the allegations made by Hendry on social media are completely false and they left him in fear of his safety.

At a brief hearing the prosecution also asked for a second charge of malicious communications in connection with the same incident to be added, which District Judge Paul Healey allowed.

Hendry, who described himself as a citizen journalist in court, pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Citizen journalists are members of the public who "report" on matters they believe are in the public interest, but are usually untrained in media laws.

Hendry was not represented by a lawyer in court and he told the judge that four Merseyside based firms had declined to represent him.

DJ Healey adjourned the case to allow a duty solicitor to look through the papers, but after reading them he also declined saying "for reasons mentioned in the papers there is a clear conflict of interest and I would not be able to represent him."

Hendry said: "This is the story of my life - I'm up to number five now this week with no legal representation... I'm flying without a net here."

He also asked that the case be moved to a court closer to his home due to allegedly receiving "death threats on an almost daily basis."

DJ Healey said he must make this application in writing.

Hendry was released on unconditional bail and the case was adjourned to a later date for trial and for him to try to obtain legal representation.


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