United Kingdom

Mother, 23, identified victim on social media when her brother was jailed for attacking him

A woman whose brother assaulted his gay lover because he feared their secret relationship would be discovered has been fined for identifying the man online as also being an alleged victim of sexual assault.

Demi Upton, 23, posted the victim's personal details on Facebook after her brother Dylan was jailed for 11 years for robbery at Manchester Crown Court. 

Dylan, who was in a long-term relationship with a woman and hoped to keep their clandestine trysts under wraps, had attacked the man after finding a picture of himself and the ex-soldier together. 

Charges against Dylan of assault by penetration, GBH, false imprisonment, making threats to kill and blackmail were dropped by prosecutors. 

He was convicted of robbery, but the judge ordered the victim be given anonymity due to the sexual nature of the allegations that weren’t pursued.

Mother-of-one Demi was arrested after the robbery victim saw she had shared details online which disclosed his name, date of birth and address and identified him as having been an alleged victim of a sexual assault.

The posts were passed on to the man by his friends, and sent to Greater Manchester Police leading to Upton's arrest, Manchester Magistrates' Court heard.

Upton was fined £300 after admitting being the publisher of a social media post which would likely lead members of the public to identify him as an alleged victim of sexual assault. 

Demi Upton (pictured outside court) posted the name and address of the robbery victim to her Facebook profile after her brother Dylan was jailed for 11 years at Manchester Crown Court earlier this year

Manchester Crown Court previously heard how Dylan had been in a relationship with his victim for around six months before he put a knife to his male lover's throat when he feared their coupling would be revealed.

Ahead of the attack in June last year, Dylan had visited the man's flat after attending Parklife Festival in Manchester.

Dylan assaulted the man as he lay face down and bound him by his wrists and ankles, before demanding the keys to his safe, which contained the victim's Falklands War medal, a laptop, foreign money and family photos, the court heard.

He threatened to 'destroy his life' and forced him to say 'I am a pervert', while Dylan recorded it on his phone.

The victim's phones lines were cut and his property was ransacked before the attacker fled with the medal and other valuables.

Demi confessed she made the post because she was 'angry and upset' after media coverage of the case against her brother appeared on Facebook and her family home was allegedly vandalised. 

Her defence solicitor, Sam Corcoran, told the court Upton was the sole carer of a three-year-old child, and had never been in trouble with police before.

'The defendant tells me that she attended the court hearing where her brother was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison,' Ms Corcoran said.

'She tells me what a very big shock that was. Her family were unaware of the proceedings until they were sat in court.'

Ms Corcoran told the court that following her brother's sentencing, Upton's family home was targeted and windows were smashed.

'The defendant has put some images on social media which disclosed the name of the complainant,' Ms Corcoran said. 

Manchester Crown Court previously heard how Dylan Upton (pictured) had been in a relationship with his victim for around six months before he put a knife to his male lover's throat when he feared their coupling would be revealed

Upton was handed a fine of £300 after admitting being the publisher of a social media post which would likely lead members of the public to identify a victim of an alleged sexual assault

'Within four hours she realised she should not have done it and removed them and deactivated her Facebook account.

'She is still young but these are not nice offences to be convicted of. She is a single mother with a three-year-old child.

'She has just started employment after having difficulties during the pandemic.'   

Following the attack, the man had initially refused to complain about the robbery to police but was persuaded to by a friend. He suffered 20 different wounds including facial cuts which needed stitches plus bruising.

In a statement to police, he said: 'The attack is the last thing I think of at night and when I eventually get to sleep it's the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning.

'I live in fear and I plan to move away. This man's behaviour was wicked and inexcusable and I just hope that one day he will reveal what happened to my war medal - it was priceless.'

Dylan's sister Demi was present for her brother's sentencing hearing at Manchester Crown Court in March and was said to be 'in shock' when his crimes were revealed.

The judge in the case ordered the victim to be given anonymity due to the sexual nature of allegations that were not pursued, but Demi (pictured) publicised the man's details 

Prosecutor Miss Parveen Akhtar told Manchester Magistrates Court: 'The [robbery] victim later provided a statement exhibiting Facebook posts made by this defendant disclosing personal details. He said he had been with friends when they showed him the Facebook profile of Demi Upton and the posts were forwarded to police.

'The defendant's phone was seized as the device was found to be the one used to take pictures in court and post things on Facebook. She refused to give her pin code so they could access the device but CCTV was requested from the court and received and viewed.

Dylan was sentenced to 11 years and eight months in March after pleading guilty to robbery.

His sister Demi was ordered to pay a fine of £300, as well as court costs of £85 and a mandatory victim surcharge of £32.

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