Friday 27 April 2018

Deaf man stood naked on front lawn and threw nails onto doctor's driveway

Man who pleaded guilty to harassment has been banned from his native county after breaching his bail conditions

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Stock picture

Greg Harkin

A deaf man who pleaded guilty to harassing a local doctor and his family for five years has been banned from his native county and ordered to live in Dublin after breaching his bail conditions.

John McGrotty, (65), of St Peter’s Tcc, Dungloe, stood naked on his front lawn beside the McEniff family, threw nails onto their driveway and made rude gestures to their children during a five year reign of terror, a court has heard

He had pleaded guilty to the offences in Dungloe last week and ordered to stay away from Dr Dara McEniff, his wife Eimear and their children.

But Falcarragh District Court sitting in Letterkenny was told today that despite a warning from the judge last week he had once again threatened Mrs McEniff just two days later.

The court family's baby-sitter Anne O’Donnell also saw him naked in his front room.

Gda Dermot Gallen told Judge Paul Kelly he could not say why McGrotty, of St Peter’s Terrace, Chapel Road, Dungloe, was stalking the family.

In the original charges to which McGrotty pleaded guilty there were up to 35 instances of harassment.

Offences included making rude gestures to the McEniff children, aged 11 and six.

The court Dr Dara McEniff kept a log-book of incidents between July 11 and December 11, 2014 which showed that on different occasions he pointed his finger at Mrs McEniff and walked directly in front of Dr McEniff as he drove through the estate.

Judge Kelly: “This family has suffered horrendously since July 2013 almost up to last October. That is way out of the type of thing you might expect.”

He added: “It’s terrible that young children on the way to school are afraid to walk past a neighbour’s house. That is intolerable.”

McGrotty admitted harassing and stalking Dara and Eimear McEniff and their family at Pairc Naomh Anna, Chapel Rd, Dungloe, between July 7, 2014 and December 11, 2014.

He also admitted harassing and stalking Eimear McEniff at St Peter’s Terrace between August 1, 2013, and July 24, 2014.

Judge Kelly said he was anxious to ensure the harassment wouldn’t continue while he awaited a probation report and a victim impact statement.

Mrs McEniff told the judge today that she had been harassed by the accused yet again on Friday last.

She revealed how she was driving towards her house in Dungloe when McGrotty stood in front of her in the roadway and began to shout at her with his fist clenched as a funeral cortege was passing by.

The court heard how McGrotty had now regularly taken it upon himself to direct traffic at funerals even though the local priest had asked him to stop.

" I was really shocked to see him on that road. You had instructed him to stay off the road as it is the road the children's school is on.  He got very aggressive and was waving his arms and making all sorts of gestures,” she said

"I pulled the car in and put my head down. He walked towards the car and was very aggressive. I put my head down and I saw him at the side of my eye. I moved off and went home. It's about 50 metres from school playground and it was midday," she said.

She pleaded with Judge Kelly to act on the matter as her family had been through a living nightmare for the past five years.

Judge Kelly was told that a sign language interpreter could not be made available for yesterday's court sitting and McGrotty's solicitor Patsy Gallagher said he needed an interpreter for his client to give evidence.

Judge Kelly said however he had made a decision to order McGrotty to live outside of Donegal with his daughter in Glasnevin in Dublin.

He asked that a letter be written by the court service instructing McGrotty of his decision.

"I will remand him on bail for sentencing. I want it made clear to him that he is to leave Donegal and not to come back under any circumstances apart from a meeting with the mental health services. If he is Donegal he will be lifted and remanded in custody," he said.

He adjourned the case until June 14.

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