News Courts

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Man faces jail if he goes near woman who accuses him of sex harassment

Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

Published 27/03/2013 | 05:00

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A MAN in his 60s has agreed to keep away from – and not communicate with – a 27-year-old receptionist who claims he physically, emotionally and sexually harassed her.

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Yesterday at the High Court, Derek Collins gave a sworn undertaking before Mr Justice Kevin Cross that he would not come within 500 metres of Renata Kaminska, her place of residence or her place of work.

He also agreed not to communicate with her by telephone, social media or email or through a third party.

Ms Kaminska had previously obtained a temporary injunction from the High Court restraining Mr Collins, of Furry Hill, Sandyford, Dublin 18, from coming near or contacting her.

She sought the orders because, she claimed, Mr Collins had harassed her for about six months and had on one occasion threatened to kill her.

Ms Kaminska further claimed she was assaulted by him on several occasions.

The High Court heard that she works as a receptionist for a firm based at North Wall Quay, Dublin. Mr Collins was also based at the same premises at North Wall Quay, where he was employed, by a different company, as a buildings manager.

She claimed that on another occasion he backed her into a place at work that was not in the view of the CCTV cameras, grabbed her and hugged and kissed her.

He once invited her to lunch. However, she said she was uncomfortable with this and brought her partner with her.

Complaint

She said that afterwards, Mr Collins got upset with her and called her a liar for bringing her partner as he "just wanted it to be the two of us".

She said that he also made inappropriate comments about her and her appearance, including once telling her that he had "a sex dream" about her.

After she made an official complaint, he was suspended from his job. However, she claimed that he was seen on several occasions driving very slowly around her place of work.

On one occasion, she claimed, he drove up close to her while she was walking to work and said "hello" to her before driving away.

While Mr Collins was suspended, she said she received a large number of missed calls to her telephone. She also claimed he sent her texts saying that "he would not hurt her".

Some weeks later, however, she received a telephone call from him where he "threatened to kill me".

Yesterday, when the matter returned before the High Court, barrister Maurice Coffey said that Mr Collins was prepared to give an undertaking not to go near his client.

Mr Justice Cross warned Mr Collins that any breach of the undertaking would have "serious" consequences, and could result in Mr Collins being committed to prison.

Mr Collins told the court that he was now unemployed and "had nothing" as a result of what had happened, but did not accept counsel's assertion that he (Mr Collins) was the author of his own misfortune.

The judge also awarded costs of the proceedings in favour of Ms Kaminska, who was not present in court yesterday.

Irish Independent

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