By Jonathan McCambridge, PA
TV and radio presenter Stephen Nolan has received a six-figure damages sum and an apology from an anonymous Twitter troll who made a series of defamatory remarks about him.
Mr Nolan, who presents regular shows on BBC Radio Ulster and Radio 5 Live, tracked down the individual who was behind the online campaign.
The presenter said the settlement would serve as a warning to all trolls.
Mr Nolan’s lawyer also said he had agreed not to reveal the troll’s identity “dependent on his future conduct”.
In a statement issued by the individual’s lawyer, they admitted that the claims they made were “totally unsubstantiated and without foundation”.
The individual admitted running a campaign which “involved the systematic dissemination of false and defamatory allegations” against Mr Nolan.
The person had been behind the “Pastor Jimberoo” and “Pastor Jimberoo’s Ghost” accounts on Twitter.
The individual also created an online petition against the presenter.
The statement said: “I unreservedly apologise to Mr Nolan for any distress caused and confirm that the aforesaid Twitter accounts have since been deleted.”
Mr Nolan said: “This individual has now admitted responsibility for what has been a malicious campaign, designed to undermine me and hinder my journalism.
“I was fortunate to have the personal resources to track this individual down and to pursue him with internationally renowned libel lawyer Paul Tweed.
“I am deeply grateful to the BBC, who will always judge me fairly on its editorial standards, rather than the lies this individual attempted to propagate.
“Not everybody has such support, but this should be a warning to all trolls – you will be tracked down.”
Paul Tweed, the libel lawyer acting for Mr Nolan, said the “troll” had been traced and notice of the legal action had been served to him in person.
“There was immediate contrition and categoric statements of regret, with the individual pleading for anonymity due to his expressed personal security concerns,” said Mr Tweed.
“Despite this attempt to destroy his reputation with falsehoods, Mr Nolan has agreed not to name this individual, dependent on his future conduct.”