Friday 9 December 2016

Behave or go back to jail, judge tells rape-claim mother

Published 09/07/2011 | 05:00

A MOTHER of four who sent a stream of text messages to a man she had falsely accused of raping her was warned yesterday to keep away from him or she would end up back in jail.

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Anne O'Sullivan (44), of Fern Walk, Pairc na Gloine, Kenmare, Co Kerry, spent the last week at Limerick Prison, where a district court judge had sent her to reflect on her actions.

Judge James O'Connor had remanded O'Sullivan in custody following her appearance on charges of harassing Raymond Downey (36), a married father of a young family.

Yesterday her solicitor Vincent Coakley told a special sitting of Killarney District Court: "Her week away has had an effect on her.

"It was a very hard lesson and she found it extremely tough. She accepts she has a serious alcohol problem and is willing to take steps to address that. She also accepts she may need psychiatric help."

O'Sullivan is accused of harassing Mr Downey on dates between July 1 and November 11, 2010 by repeatedly phoning and texting him. That was in breach of a circuit court order that directed her not to have any contact with the plumbing contractor.

The circuit court order had been granted by Judge Carroll Moran after O'Sullivan had falsely accused Mr Downey of raping her in July 2005.

Defamation

Mr Downey, who was not at yesterday's court sitting, had taken a civil action against her for defamation of character.

O'Sullivan gave an undertaking to the circuit court under oath last year withdrawing allegations she had made against Mr Downey, which she accepted in court were false.

She also gave a sworn undertaking not to contact him again.

A sitting of Kenmare District Court last week heard there wasn't a "scintilla of evidence" to support her claims.

"It was a complete fabrication. It just did not happen, there was no connection between them," Inspector Barry O'Rourke said.

He said O'Sullivan had sent about 15 to 20 texts to Mr Downey, including one that said "Happy birthday handsome" and "Call me", which had formed the basis for the charge.

She is also accused of making a number of phone calls to the injured party in April and May last year.

Yesterday Judge O'Connor remanded O'Sullivan in custody with consent to bail to the July 19 sitting of the district court, warning her not to have any contact with Mr Downey or his family.

"If she steps out of line in any manner the only solution will be another jail term," he warned.

Irish Independent

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