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Court / Sheriff warns about using social media responsibly after man admits Facebook video charge

THE IMPORTANCE of using social media responsibly was spelled out at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday when a man received unpaid work for uploading a video to Facebook of another man naked while intoxicated.

Andrew Flaws, 36, of Lerwick’s Hill Grind, admitted to sharing the video without the man’s consent on 5 June.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the video was taken at a house of an acquaintance of Flaws and the complainer in Lerwick, where the three of them had gathered.

The complainer was “very severely intoxicated” at the house, he said, more so than Flaws.

Mackenzie said there was an element of goading involved as the complainer removed all of his clothes and moved around the room.

The court heard that Flaws found the incident amusing and decided to upload a video of the man’s behaviour to social media.

The complainer, who was unaware of the incident until police spoke to him, was “horrified” when he found out, Mackenzie said.

Defence agent Gregor Kelly said his client accepted it was an “ill-judged attempt at humour on his part”.

Kelly said the Facebook video was deleted after an hour, but it had already circulated by then.

Flaws wished to apologise to the complainer and his family, the court heard.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said the offence showed the importance of using social media responsibly.

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

Flaws was given 80 hours of unpaid work, with Sheriff Cruickshank granting a crown motion to forfeit the mobile phone.