Internet troll spared jail for branding people paedophiles and homosexuals

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

An internet troll who falsely branded people as paedophiles and homosexuals has escaped a jail sentence.

24-year-old Joshua Mark Bonehill-Paine – who is a former Tory candidate – harassed five internet users by spreading false allegations about them, making fake social media profiles and publishing hoax “wanted” posters.

The right-wing activist ran the Daily Bale – a website which claims to challenge “Left-Wing Extremism”, but often posted untrue allegations.

He was found guilty of six counts of malicious communication by Yeovil Magistrates this week, and has been handed a three-month suspended sentence.

The court opted not to pass down a jail term, instead requiring him to undertake 80 hours unpaid work

He was handed the three-month suspended prison sentence at Yeovil Magistrates Court this morning. He will only serve the sentence if he re-offends within 18 months.

The court also imposed requirements for supervision, and sentenced him to 80 hours unpaid work, and ten sessions of ‘education, training and employment’.

The court also granted an 18-month restraining order, preventing him from identifying his victims, and ordered him to pay £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

One of the victims said that the abuse caused his business to collapse, and left him unable to go outside.

He told the Telegraph: “I noticed this chap bullying. They asked me to go and report him in court.

“He then put up a picture of me as a paedophile. And I am fairly distinctive. He knows nothing about me. My business went under.

“For quite a long time I didn’t really go outside except for necessities because it only takes one idiot looking through the internet to see me, and not everybody looks like me, and I am dead in the gutter.”