The man who had been reported to the police and publicly shamed on social media for walking out with a young girl has finally spoken out.
Joey Lennon was shocked to receive dozens of messages from his family and friends who saw his viral photo on Facebook.
In the photo shared on Facebook, Joey and his daughter can be seen outside a property in Cowley Hill Lane.
The deleted post warned residents to ‘keep their eyes peeled’ for the man who was ‘looking into houses.’
Joey from St. Helens of Merseyside was also reported to the police after the incident.
In an interview with Liverpool Echo, Joey said: “It was around 8 pm and we were just going on a little walk and my daughter spotted an old alarm box on this house.
“It looked like (the house) had been empty for a couple of years as it was quite dilapidated.”
He continued: “My daughter said ‘there’s birds up there’ and I was trying to see the birds nest. Walking away I thought ‘there’s no birds in there’ and later she told me she was winding me up.
“I went to bed early because I’m a web designer and it doesn’t do me any good staying up. In the morning I woke up to messages from like 50 people saying ‘have you seen this?’ I spat my coffee out.
“I was shocked. I’ve never done anything bad and anyone who knows me knows it’s not something I’d do.”
The father said he wanted to clear his name and respond to the allegations online.
Joey took to Facebook and said: “Just gonna put this out there. A lot of people have messaged me over this and were quite shocked someone would post this to be honest.
“I’m not a thief (neither is my little girl). You’re quite safe lol.”
He further explained: “My little girl told me she saw a nest in an old alarm box on a house as we were walking home. I don’t know why I fell for it, but I did and so I looked – you got my good side so thank you. (She got me good this time, the little wind up haha).”
Joey also thinks that people should be more ‘vigilant’ when posting something online.
“I’m a parent at the end of the day and you don’t want that type of stuff posted,” he added.
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