Thursday 8 December 2016

Journalist sent abusive texts to ex-husband's new partner

Andrew Phelan

Published 04/12/2015 | 12:27

Text messages were sent in the case. File picture
Text messages were sent in the case. File picture

AN online journalist harassed her ex-husband's new partner with threatening texts and on social media, a court heard.

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Jacqueline Spain (37) sent a series of "outrageous" text messages to the woman over nearly three years, Dublin District Court was told.

Judge Bryan Smyth struck the case out, leaving her without a criminal record on condition that she has no contact with either her ex-husband or his partner for two years.

Spain, with an address at North Circular Road, Dublin 7, was charged with harassment of Aoife O'Hickey in Dublin between October 5, 2010 and June 13, 2013.

She was also charged with assaulting both Ms O'Hickey and Laurence Spain at Centra, Wellington Quay, on March 15, 2013.

Judge Smyth agreed to strike the harassment case out on hearing an outline of the evidence and after Spain gave an undertaking to stay away from her former husband and Ms O'Hickey.

She pleaded guilty to the assaults and these charges were also struck out.

The prosecuting garda said Ms O'Hickey made the harassment complaint in June 2013.

Messages were extracted from her phone and the printout ran to 40 pages.

The texts were of a threatening and abusive nature in relation to Ms O'Hickey, the garda said.

The officer agreed with defence solicitor John Hennessy that Spain had been co-operative and there had been no difficulties between the parties since 2013.

remorse

Spain had expressed "a lot of regret and remorse" and she intended "never to do this again", Mr Hennessy said.

Judge Smyth was shown a sample of the messages, but did not read them aloud.

Mr Hennessy said there had been "a lot of history to this particular relationship".

"She accepts that the text messages were outrageous and caused a lot of difficulty for the recipient," he said.

Spain had no prior convictions.

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