Man Appears In Court After Threatening To Kill North’s Health Minister

Robin Swann - Northern Ireland's Health Minister

A man accused of harassing and making threats to kill Northern Ireland’s Health Minister has been remanded in custody. It followed a court sitting in Co Down today.

Newtownards Magistrates heard today that “threatening and offensive messages” were sent to Robin Swann from a Twitter account.

The accused – 44-year-old William Herbert Hawkes – of Ardmillan Crescent, Newtownards – is said to have made no comment in police interviews, while he refused to hand over passwords.

The man was arrested on Tuesday after police received a report from minister Swann. A police constable told the court that on 15 November Mr Swann reported that threatening messages had been posted on Twitter, including one which read: “I would advocate the killing of Northern Ireland’s health minister.”

The court was told there were about 10 messages, all of which were similar.

Mr. Hawkes laywer said his client has mental health difficulties. Mr Hawkes has been ordered to appear again in court on 15 December.