Saturday 23 September 2017

'First Dates' model sent celebrity chef McGrath disturbing texts about 'demons and souls'

Daphney Sanasie of Jamestown Road in Dublin 8 arrives at the Dublin District Court. Photo: Collins Courts
Daphney Sanasie of Jamestown Road in Dublin 8 arrives at the Dublin District Court. Photo: Collins Courts

Andrew Phelan

Star of RTÉ's hit reality dating show 'First Dates' Daphney Sanasie plagued celebrity chef Dylan McGrath with unwanted phone messages, including pictures and disturbing texts about "demons and souls".

Sanasie (26), a model, sent the 'MasterChef' judge hundreds of messages, continuing after he pleaded with her to stop and told her she had "gone way too far", a court heard.

The pair had been on two dates after meeting through a mutual friend before the harassment started.

Mr McGrath felt fearful and threatened by the messages when they reached a "crescendo".

Sanasie told gardaí when arrested that she had been drinking when she sent the messages to annoy Mr McGrath and "thought it was funny".

As he left court, Mr McGrath said: "I'm glad it's over."

Sanasie, from South Africa but with an address at Jamestown Road, in Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to harassing Mr McGrath (39) from September 9 until November 21, 2015.

Prosecution barrister Seamus Clarke led Garda Colm Kelly through his evidence.

MasterChef star Dylan McGrath was harassed Picture: Collins
MasterChef star Dylan McGrath was harassed Picture: Collins

The accused and victim had met for dates on February 7 and 14, 2015.

Mr McGrath had no direct contact with her after that but there were further intermittent texts, mostly from Sanasie.

Mr McGrath became concerned about the tone of some messages in March 2015 and told her to stop texting.

That summer, he became concerned about a request to his brother in relation to a supposed "celebrity footballer's wedding" dinner.

Sanasie then turned up at Mr McGrath's restaurant with security guards and a photographer and claimed to be organising the wedding.

Matters "reached a crescendo" on September 9 with a series of messages, including three of a graphic nature.

He told her in a text to "pull it together and get on with it, respect that, stop being so selfish and indulgent".

He received a message suggesting that she had been involved in an accident, but there was no such accident.

After he moved address, she texted that she knew where he lived and that they could meet in a café close by.

Between September 9 and November 20 he received 120 WhatsApp messages, the court heard.

Sanasie had no previous convictions.

Defence Barrister Gareth Robinson said Sanasie wanted to "put this behind her" and planned to return to South Africa when the case had concluded.

Judge Michael Walsh adjourned sentencing until February 7 to allow him to review the messages she had sent to McGrath.

Irish Independent

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