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Mary John charged with committing Electronic Crimes offence

Self-proclaimed social and community activist Mary John has been warned not to use her social media pages to commit any offence in contravention of the Electronic Crimes Act or her bail would be revoked.

John appeared in St. John’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning (January 4) before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh who revoked her station bail.

Instead, Walsh imposed a bail sum of $10,000 with a cash deposit of $2,500 and two sureties.

She has to report to the nearest police station every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday between the hours of 6am and 6pm.

Additionally, John has to surrender her travel documents and she returns to court on March 24 for her committal proceedings.

John is accused of spreading false messages via her social media page with the use of an electronic system.

The matter can be tried either in the Magistrates’ Court or the High Court. However, the prosecution has opted to proceed with the charge indictably, which means it will be sent to the High Court for trial before a judge only or a trial by judge and jury.

The penalty for this offence is $250,000 or three years in prison or both if tried in the lower court. However, the penalty increases to $500,000 or six years in prison or both if tried in the High Court.

John is accused of circulating false information about a young woman pertaining to the murder of Jane Finch, who was found dead in October last year in her Piccadilly home. The social activist accused the woman of committing the crime and posted her name and  photograph, which made the rounds via social media platforms.

 

It turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

 

John later removed the post, but by that time it had already gone viral.

The woman later reported the matter to the police and investigations were launched which led to John’s arrest and charging.

 John was the complainant in a similar matter in which she reported to the police that a man made certain remarks about her on social media. The man was fined $500 after he pleaded guilty in that case. He had accused John of making certain comments about his family business, which caused them to lose customers.

It was reported that she took down her post after he responded to it.

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