Court hears of victim’s embarrassment over Facebook video

A sheriff lamented the “distress and embarrassment” which can be caused by social media after a man was sentenced for posting on Facebook a film he took of his drunken friend walking naked around a living room.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank was speaking as he ordered Andrew George Flaws of Hillgrind, Lerwick, to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work as part of a level one community payback order.

Flaws, 36, admitted sharing the video without the man’s consent.

He pleaded guilty to acting recklessly  without any regard to fear, alarm or distress he might cause.

The incident happened at an address in Lerwick on 5th June.

Speaking at Lerwick Sheriff Court yesterday, procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the complainer was “severely intoxicated on a mixture of valium and alcohol”.

“The complainer was horrified and embarrassed to find out that this video was doing the rounds. This was somebody who was meant to be a friend. I can discern no humour in this whatsoever.”

Moving for forfeiture of the phone, he described Flaws’ behaviour as “a particularly low and mean-spirited act”.

Defence agent Gregor Kelly said of the accused: “This was a particularly ill-judged attempt at humour on his part.”

Mr Kelly said the video had initially been taken to show the victim “what an idiot he was making of himself”.

Sheriff Cruickshank said: “This is yet another case before the court that shows that social media can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse.

“Social media usage causes considerable distress and embarrassment, and it has to be utilised responsibly.”

He added: “It’s appropriate to grant the Crown’s motion for forfeiture of the i-phone.”


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