A MAN with learning difficulties who was trainspotting in York was wrongly accused of being a sex offender on social media.

Police have launched an investigation after a member of the public uploaded a photograph to Facebook of the man and wrongly branded him a sex offender.

Officers had received a report of a man in some bushes using binocular in a car park on Holgate Road on August 7. Police went to the scene, where they discovered it was a man with a learning disability who was trainspotting.

However the Facebook post attracted hundreds of abusive comments.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said that while the member of the public was right to call police about suspicious behaviour, uploading a photo and wrongly calling the man a sex offender was "extremely irresponsible".

He added that the post has caused "extreme distress" for the victim and his family and police have now launched an investigation into the malicious communication.

Police are urging members of the public to think carefully about the potential consequences of posting "spurious and malicious" messages and the devastating effects they could have on victims.