A mother whose brother assaulted his gay lover because he feared their secret relationship would be discovered has been fined for naming the victim online.
Demi Upton, 23, posted the name and address of the male victim to her Facebook profile after her brother Dylan was jailed for 11 years at Manchester Crown Court earlier this year.
The mother-of-one was reported to police and arrested after the Falklands War veteran, who was given lifetime anonymity over the attack, saw Upton had shared details to Facebook which disclosed his name, date of birth and address.
These images were passed on to the victim by his friends, and subsequently sent to Greater Manchester Police leading to Upton’s arrest, Manchester Magistrates Court heard.
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 sexual assault.
Demi Upton, 23, posted the name and address of the male victim to her Facebook profile after her brother Dylan was jailed for 11 years at Manchester Crown Court earlier this year
She later said she had shared the details because she was ‘angry and upset’ after media coverage of the assault 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 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.’
Manchester Crown Court previously heard how her brother 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 – who had a long-term girlfriend and met his victim on Grindr – had visited the man’s flat after attending Parklife Festival in Manchester.
Dylan assaulted the man as he lay face down and bound 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.
The judge in the case ordered the victim to be given anonymity due to the sexual nature of the allegations, but Demi (pictured) publicised the victim’s details
At first, the victim reused to complain 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.
Charges against him of assault by penetration, causing grievous bodily harm, false imprisonment, making threats to kill and blackmail were dropped by prosecutors but the judge ordered the victim be given anonymity due to the sexual nature of the allegations.
Prosecutor Miss Parveen Akhtar told Manchester Magistrates Court: ‘The 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.
‘In her interview she initially denied matters and then made admissions. She said she was in court for the sentencing of her brother and the following day a newspaper article was posted on Facebook.
‘It made her very angry and upset and as a result of her being upset and the comments being made by others, she lost her temper and posted the images. She said she’s sorry and she regrets this.’
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.