Luke Poots ‘disappointed’ police didn’t contact him over harassment complaint

Luke Poots lodged the complaint against BBC journalist Kevin Magee
Luke Poots lodged the complaint against BBC journalist Kevin Magee

A DUP councillor has said he’s “very disappointed in the police” after claiming he found out through media reports that the PSNI had found no evidence to support a complaint of harassment he made against a BBC journalist.

Luke Poots lodged the complaint against BBC News NI correspondent Kevin Magee early last month, claiming he had harassed him at his home near Hillsborough.

The reporter was investigating a story relating to a planning application for the development of three houses on Mr Poots’ land – an application made in his mother’s maiden name.

The former chairman of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s planning committee issued a statement denying any wrongdoing and saying he had reported Mr Magee to the police for harassment.

In media reports yesterday morning, the PSNI confirmed it had received a complaint on July 5 “relating to information that had been published online”, but said “no criminal offences have been identified”.

Those reports have angered Mr Poots, who claims he has received no such information from the police.

“The police haven’t come back to me yet. The first I heard about this was when someone texted me about it this morning,” he told the News Letter.

“They (the police) went and told the media that there’s no evidence to support my complaint, but they still haven’t told me.”

The Downshire East representative, son of Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots, added: “I actually got a phone call from another councillor this morning asking me to help the police out with an issue. I’m being asked to help them, yet they didn’t even have the courtesy to contact me and tell me they weren’t taking my complaint any further. I’m very disappointed in the police.”

Responding to Mr Poots’ comments, a PSNI spokesperson said: “Where anyone believes we have acted inappropriately they should contact the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland who will fully investigate the circumstances independently.”

Noting the PSNI’s statement that “no criminal offences have been identified”, a BBC spokesman said: “The story was a matter of public interest and was reported in accordance with our editorial guidelines.”