News Courts

Sunday 21 September 2014

Sex offender claimed on Twitter he worked with One Direction, court told

Conor Gallagher and Aoife Nic Ardghail

Published 29/07/2014 | 02:30

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Brian Mulvihill leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Brian Mulvihill leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

THE Director of Public Prosecutions has sought an order preventing a convicted sex offender from contacting children online after a court heard he was using Twitter to claim he worked for the band One Direction.

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Brian Mulvihill (36) was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2007 for what a judge then called "an appalling" aggravated sexual assault on a young woman. The Court of Criminal Appeal later suspended the last four years of this term.

Shortly afterwards he received a five-year term in Ennis Circuit Criminal Court for a separate sexual assault.

Mulvihill, who is originally from Kilkee in Co Clare but with a current address of Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8, was released under supervision in September 2012 on the condition that he follows all directions of the Probation Services for 10 years.

Yesterday, the DPP applied at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for five orders intended to reduce the risk posed by Mulvihill following several instances of inappropriate post-release behaviour. The court heard the main risk factor was his consumption of alcohol.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned the matter so the Court of Criminal Appeal can clarify the exact terms of Mulvihill's post-release supervision. She also set a hearing date for her court for October 31 pending what happens in the appeal courts.

Minors

In the DPP's submissions, Vincent Heneghan asked the court to order that Mulvihill not use the internet to contact minors and that he not contact other sex offenders.

He also asked for an order banning him from changing his name, consuming alcohol and entering licensed premises.

Garda Denis Mulligan told the court that he has been monitoring Mulvihill since March 2013 and that he had several concerns about his behaviour.

He said Mulvihill had been taking an adult education course. There were five women in his class and four of them had made complaints about him, including that he was sending them inappropriate texts.

Garda Mulligan said he also falsely claimed to classmates that he was getting an operation for throat cancer to get their sympathy. One of his lecturers, Patricia Doyle, gave him her mobile number so he could update her on his treatment.

Mulvihill started calling Ms Doyle to complain about his treatment by the women in the class. Ms Doyle told him to stop sending messages to the girls and Mulvihill replied: "I don't care anymore, I'll be back."

The lecturer took this as a threat and was afraid. Garda Mulligan later hand-delivered a letter to Mulvihill from the college asking him not to return.

Garda Mulligan also learned that Mulvihill had set up seven or eight Twitter accounts on which he falsely claimed to work for One Direction. Mulvihill said in his tweets that he was a friend of band member Niall Horan and asked fans to get in contact if they had any questions.

The garda told the judge that this was concerning as the band were very popular with young girls. "It would be an attraction to a schoolgirl that he had a connection with them," he said.

Defence counsel Keith Spencer submitted that the DPP's requests were disproportionate and unnecessary as the Probation Service could "create offences" if Mulvihill did not comply with its directions. He said his client was co-operating with the Probation Service and now abstaining from alcohol.

Irish Independent

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