Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ex-partner is charged with sending 3,940 nuisance texts

Andrew Phelan

A DUBLIN man allegedly harassed his ex-partner with nearly 5,000 nuisance and threatening texts and emails – including one telling her to “look out her window because her car was ablaze”.

Robert Mooney (34) is accused of carrying out the harassment over an 18-month period.

A court heard the woman was not at home at the time of the alleged threat about her car and had to call family members to establish that it was false.

Judge William Hamill adjourned the case against the accused after accepting jurisdiction to deal with it at District Court level.

Mooney, of Parkview Grove, Jamestown, Finglas, is charged with harassing his ex-partner on dates between July 11, 2011 and December 7, 2012.

The charge is under Section 10 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, and the accused has not yet indicated how he intends to plead.

A State solicitor said the DPP had directed summary trial of the case in the District Court.

Garda Aoife Moroney told the court it was alleged that the accused sent a total of 3,940 texts and 977 emails.

Some of the messages were of a violent nature and threatened damage to property, it was alleged.

On January 1, 2011, there was a text asking the alleged victim to “look out her window because her car was ablaze”.

She was out of Dublin at the time and had to call family members to find out whether the vehicle was on fire.

Garda Moroney said the messages were “not always derogatory and disrespectful or threatening”, but would be “quite persistent”, and the woman would have to give a reply to some of them.

The court heard they had lived together for some time and had a volatile relationship, but had split up at the time of the alleged offence.

Defence solicitor Alice O'Reilly said that disclosure of documents by the prosecution had amounted to more than a thousand pages of material and she sought time to read this.

Judge Hamill said he was accepting jurisdiction to deal with the case.

This means he would not be sending the case for jury trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has greater sentencing power.

However, he said it was still open to the court to refuse jurisdiction at a later date, depending on what it heard in relation to the case.


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