Nanny avoids jail for harassing employers
A BABYSITTER who began harassing a young couple after a "serious brain injury" changed her personality has received a suspended prison sentence of three years.
Caitriona Walsh (30) had worked as a nanny to the victims' children for six years before contracting viral encephalitis, an infection of the brain, in December 2006.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that this infection and a resulting "near-death experience" changed Walsh's personality.
The couple, David Murphy and Orla Tormey, became concerned about her behaviour and in June 2008 they fired her.
Walsh began sending abusive texts to the couple. She sent a text to Ms Tormey in which she claimed Mr Murphy was having an affair.
Garda Colin Connolly told Cathleen Noctor, prosecuting, that between June and November 2008, Walsh sent 59 texts to the couple.
Walsh, of Pearse Avenue, Sallynoggin, pleaded guilty to the harassment of Mr Murphy between June 11, 2008, and June 4, 2009.
Judge Desmond Hogan said that a prison sentence would make matters worse.
He imposed his sentence on the condition that Walsh does not communicate with the injured parties or their children.
Gda Connolly said in one email sent to Mr Murphy, Walsh claimed that there had been a sexually inappropriate relationship between the two of them.
Feargal Kavanagh, defending, said that a "serious brain injury" and a "near-death experience" had changed his client's personality.
Walsh was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid community work.