Tuesday 25 September 2018

Blogger accused of harassing children's TV presenter

Accused: Dublin blogger and actress Frances Winston
Accused: Dublin blogger and actress Frances Winston

Andrew Phelan

A Dublin blogger and actress has been accused of mounting an online campaign of harassment against a British children's television host.

Frances Winston (44) is alleged to have harassed her ex-partner's daughter, BBC presenter Ferne Corrigan, in "a very public way" on social media. She was released on bail on condition that she has no contact with Ms Corrigan, who is a children's TV host.

Ms Winston, with an address at Rathgar Road, Dublin, is charged with harassing Ms Corrigan between February 19, 2016, and May 20, 2017, at various unknown locations.

Detective Garda Sergeant Jonathan Kelly told Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court the accused made no reply to the charge after caution.

Det Sgt Kelly said it was alleged Ms Winston had engaged in an online campaign of harassment against a named person who was not resident in the State.

It was alleged that she "used social media platforms to harass this individual in a very public way", he said.

Det Sgt Kelly told Judge Walsh the alleged victim was the daughter of the defendant's former partner.

The judge accepted jurisdiction, allowing the case to remain in the district court.

Defence solicitor Colleen Gildernew applied for bail and Det Sgt Kelly said there was no objection.

Judge Walsh granted bail in Ms Winston's own bond of €1,000 on condition she has no contact in any way with the alleged victim, her family or friends.

The judge stopped short of imposing an absolute ban on social media use, saying if the accused was "foolish enough" to contact the alleged victim or her family and friends, it could lead to further charges.

Irish Independent

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