Thursday 22 August 2019

Council worker who told Shatter to 'f*** off to the West Bank' ordered to carry out 100 hours community service

Admission: John Dillon
Admission: John Dillon
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A council worker who sent a series of abusive, anti-Semitic emails to former Justice Minister Alan Shatter has been ordered to carry out 100 hours community service.

John Dillon (55) said Mr Shatter was a "perfidious Jew," a "Yiddish whore" and told him to "f*** off back to the west Bank."

He wrote the 10 mails when he went "over the edge," while suffering from depression after a relationship breakup.

Judge Anthony Halpin handed down the community service order at Dublin District Court today instead of a six-month jail sentence.

The harassment happened over a five-week period last year, while Mr Shatter was still Justice Minister.

Dillon, of Whitethorn Gardens, Palmerstown, had admitted one count of harassment on dates between February and April, 2014.

Today, defence barrister Oisin Clarke said the case was before the court for a community service suitability report.

Having been assessed, the accused “appears to be suitable,” Mr Clarke said.

The judge then finalised the order.

Mr Dillon, dressed in a grey suit, purple shirt and tie, did not address the court.

At a previous hearing, Mr Shatter's garda statement was handed in to court by Detective Garda Ciaran O'Neill and read by the judge, along with a printout of the emails Dillon sent.

Garda O'Neill said Dillon was co-operative throughout the investigation.

Mr Clarke explained that the accused went 'over the edge' when he wrote the emails.

Judge Halpin said the emails were "invective and obnoxious."

He said Mr Shatter, who was not in court, had been "offended, insulted and deeply upset."

"I got them because I am Jewish,” Mr Shatter’s statement read. “No matter how much of a hard neck you have, persistence of that nature is upsetting and distressing. I am used to getting communications like that over the years, but what was different was the persistence."

"For any Jewish person to receive this is upsetting, when it's persistent and ongoing you don't know what the next step is going to be for this person."

The court heard one of the mails related to the Taoiseach.

Judge Halpin said he would not normally read the emails out in court but he felt the public "ought to be given a flavour" of them.

The first mail, sent on March 14 last year, stated: "Resign, you Jewish, Rathgar, circumcised p***k."

Another was sent two days later.

"Perfidious Jew, unable to give a breath test, f*** off to Russia, you Yiddish whore," Judge Halpin read.

The third mail he read to the court, dated March 8, 2014 stated: "F**k off back to the west bank, Zionist a***ole."

Mr Shatter was "genuinely distressed and troubled,"  Judge Halpin said.

He said Mr Shatter's portfolio was "probably the most demanding and complex" there was and it was to his credit that the harassment did not affect his "prodigious output."

He said it was "contemptuous" that Dillon had sought to justify what he had done by "freedom of speech."

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