A man has been handed a £280 fine by a court, after leaving messages on a newspaper’s Facebook page calling for gays to be “slaughtered”.

42-year-old Paul Gair of Gateshead made several lengthy comments on the Facebook page of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, with one below an article about the Northern Pride festival.

According to the newspaper, he called for gay people to be “slaughtered” below the story about Northern Pride.

In another message, he wrote: “If your parents were faggots, you horrible gay c***s wouldn’t of been born! Should be lined up and machine gunned, vile disgusting c***s”.

Police were alerted to the messages over concerns for the safety of attendees of the Pride festival.

Appearing at Newcastle Magistrates Court yesterday, Gair pleaded guilty to sending a message of an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing manner, and reiterated his apology for the remarks.

He received a fine of £280, and was ordered to pay £85 costs and £28 victim surcharge.

In his victim impact statement, Northern Pride chair Mark Nichols said the messages had been “hate filled”.

He added: “It is very worrying when you hear people could be thinking of coming down and killing gays. If the post was about race of religion there would have been uproar.”

Magistrate Eileen Burt told Gair: “I think everybody in court is probably disgusted by your behaviour. You have lost your good name forever.

“I think for me this highlights the dangers of social media because people forget how many read and see comments on there.”