A Simple Minds superfan has told a jury about a long campaign of online threats and abuse conducted by the brother of the pop band’s frontman.
Paul Kerr, brother of singer Jim Kerr, left threats and made claims about rape in a series of posts on Facebook targeting superfans John and Julie Fagan.
And when Kerr was banned from the social media platform, he simply set up another account to continue the abuse, according to Mr Fagan.
He posted pictures of Mr Fagan wearing a red mankini – and another of him in a gold mankini, bearing the Simple Minds claddagh emblem.
Judge Stephen Mooney asked: “How many mankinis does a man need?”
Mr Fagan said that he had three or four and they were just a bit of fun.
Paul Walker, defending, said: “You’re not on trial for wearing a mankini.”
The campaign of harassment and abuse began, Mr Fagan said, after he commented online on the price and value of VIP tickets to see the band.
It culminated in a death threat, with Jonathan Edwards, prosecuting, telling the jury at Lewes Crown Court, in East Sussex, that Kerr sent a threatening email to police.
Kerr, claiming to be the victim, wrote: “If you don’t arrest him by Sunday then I will murder him.”
Mr Fagan said that Kerr had posted lies on Facebook, accusing him of raping “a wee boy in hospital” and saying that his wife was a whore.
He said: “It was becoming a way of life. I had almost 15 months of it. It was escalating and getting worse and worse.
“It was intimidating, especially with the increased security in our home. He said he was going to cripple us with a baseball bat.”
After the couple returned from celebrating their wedding anniversary and Mr Fagan’s 50th birthday at Jim Kerr’s hotel in Taormina, in Sicily, in July last year the police called at their Kent home.
Mr Fagan told the court: “The police arrived five or ten minutes after we got home. They said, we’ve been asked to come round to put safety markers on you because Paul Kerr has sent an email saying that he is going to kill you. He’s in custody in Brighton.
“They said that they had arrested him and then they said that they had released him on bail with certain conditions. He was not to come to Kent. He was not to contact us either directly or indirectly.”
But, Mr Fagan said, the abuse from Kerr started again.
The jury were shown screenshots in which Kerr accused his brother, Jim Kerr, of “hanging around with staff nurse John who sodomised a patient in a Liverpool hospital”.
He said that Mr Fagan was “a warped man who abused someone and who got away with it – now in exile from his home city … you pathetic coward abuser”.
Kerr also called Julie Fagan a “ting tong” and “a woman who cries rape” and a comment on his Facebook page from a friend called Arthur Williamson said that he should deal with them with “a seven iron” (golf club) and a balaclava.
In another post Kerr urged him to come and fight him on the beach in Brighton – near Kerr’s home in Warwick Mount, Montague Street.
And in yet another post he called Mrs Fagan a “repulsive whore”.
Mr Edwards asked Mr Fagan whether he had posted on Facebook that Kerr had become the subject of a police investigation and included a picture of him in a convict’s uniform.
He said: “I don’t recall. I was fuming at that time. I may have done. I don’t recall it.”
The jury was told that Kerr referred to himself as a “Barrowland star” – after the Glasgow venue and the Simple Minds song.
Kerr, who turned 56 yesterday (Thursday 17 October), was also said to have set up Facebook profiles in the name of his late mother Irene and his daughter Ellie to continue his vicious campaign of abuse.
He 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 “alarm and distress” to Elisabeth Vanthof, also known as Elsie de la Couer.
He denies all three charges and the trial continues.
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.