Simple Minds singer’s brother threatened to kill a fan of the band

Posted On 16 Oct 2019 at 6:27 pm

The Brighton-based brother of Simple Minds singer, Jim Kerr, threatened to cripple, assault and murder two superfans who left a negative online review for the band, a court was told.

Paul Kerr, right, arrives at Lewes Crown Court – Picture by David McHugh / Brighton Pictures

Paul Kerr, who turns 56 tomorrow, embarked on a vicious campaign of harassment and stalking against John and Julie Fagan.

The couple were superfans of the 1980s rock band and had attended up to 356 Simple Minds gigs over a period of 35 years. They even celebrated their wedding anniversary each year in a hotel in Sicily owned by Jim Kerr.

But after the release of a new album last year, Walk Between Worlds, and the sacking of the Simple Minds keyboard player and drummer, Mr Fagan was not happy with the band’s new direction.

Kerr himself had condemned the band on Facebook and branded the new album “poor quality and pure shit”.

But when Mr Fagan responded, saying it was a bad mistake to sack the drummer and keyboard player and he would not go and see them in concert, Kerr allegedly flipped.

The court heard that he began an 11-month campaign of stalking and harassment against him and his wife.

Kerr, of Warwick Mount, in Montague Street, Brighton, contacted his brother’s hotel in Sicily and tried unsuccessfully to obtain the Fagans’ home address.

He then posted online comments claiming Mr Fagan, a care worker from Canterbury, was a paedophile who had raped a nine-year-old boy.

Lewes Crown Court was told that he also posted claims of extreme sexual abuse and rape against both John and Julie Fagan.

Jonathan Edwards, prosecuting, said that the campaign left the couple terrified and living in fear of violence.

Jim Kerr

He said: “The threats and abuse towards the Fagans affected their lives immeasurably.

“They were understandably very upset and also fearful because someone might believe the stuff he was posting online.”

The court heard that Kerr then posted a message threatening to cripple John Fagan and drag Julie Fagan by the hair to a police station.

Mr Edwards said that Mrs Fagan “even began to contemplate how she might cope if she was left a widow”.

The couple even received a message from Kerr’s former partner Elizabeth Vanthof warning them to be careful about Kerr and his “extreme behaviour”.

Kerr complained to police claiming that he was the victim as he was being subjected to a campaign of abuse by the couple.

Paul Kerr

But when they failed to arrest the couple, Kerr told the police if they did not take action he would murder John Fagan. In an email he said: “If you don’t arrest him by Sunday then I will murder him.”

Kerr also bombarded his former partner, Miss Vanthof, with dozens of text messages, emails and voicemails.

He even phoned the French university where she worked and made allegations about her to damage her reputation.

Kerr, who appeared in court wearing a blue fleece and dark trousers, faces two charges of stalking John and Julie Fagan, causing them to fear violence on at least two occasions.

He is also charged with one count of stalking, causing Elizabeth Vanthof “alarm and distress”.

He denies all three charges and the case continues.

Paul Kerr, right, arrives at Lewes Crown Court – Picture by David McHugh / Brighton Pictures

Simple Minds were one of the biggest rock bands of the 1980s and ’90s with a number of hit singles including Don’t You Forget About Me and Alive and Kicking.

The Glasgow band formed in 1977 and sold more than 60 million albums including five No1 chart-topping albums.

Despite a decline in their popularity, the band has continued to perform and record and in 2018 Simple Minds released their 19th album, Walk Between Worlds, followed by live album Live in the City of Angels this year.

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