Saturday 16 December 2017

Father-of-one threatened to harm two former partners if they didn't hand over cash

The court heard Waters had a chaotic history involving debt through drug addiction which led him into contact with “very unpleasant people”.
The court heard Waters had a chaotic history involving debt through drug addiction which led him into contact with “very unpleasant people”.

By Sonya McLean

A Wicklow father of one who harassed two former partners and threatened to harm them if they didn't hand over cash has been remanded in continuing custody pending sentence next November.

Ian Waters (35) of Springfield Heights, Newtownmountkennedy, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to harassing Orla Sheridan by mobile calls and texts on dates between August 19 and December 10, 2013.

He also pleaded guilty to making demands with menace from Amy Tresson on dates between May and July 2014. He has no previous convictions.

Waters told gardaí in interview that he was under pressure to pay back debts and turned to Ms Sheridan for help. He accepted that he threatened her in text messages which were “deeply disturbed” but claimed he never intended to harm her.

He admitted his relationship with Ms Tresson, the mother of his child, was not good. He said he had run into debt and was looking for money and for help from her constantly.

Waters agreed with officers that he had threatened to shoot Ms Tresson because she would not help him and accepted that she would “absolutely” be scared by what had he threatened.

Garda Diarmuid O'Donovan told Lisa Dempsey BL, prosecuting that Waters met Ms Sheridan in April 2012 and they started a relationship. She later told gardaí that from early on in their relationship a pattern developed were he would ask Ms Sheridan to lend him money, sometimes up to €10,000.

He said that on August 19, 2013 Ms Sheridan received a text requesting €10,000. When she replied that she couldn't get the cash, Waters replied; “You're a dirty c**t. I will kill you, so I will....nothing but a heartless bastard”, before he threatened to slit her throat.

Ms Sheridan was genuinely concerned and turned to friends to see if she could raise the money for Waters. She also reported the messages to gardaí.

Gda O'Donovan said there was “a constant barge of text messages” in which Waters threatened to tell the criminal whom he owed money to, where Ms Sheridan lived.

He confirmed that Ms Sheridan paid out €10,000 and has never been re-paid. Waters was charged with harassment on December 11, 2013.

Garda David Maloney said Ms Tresson had been in a relationship with Waters previously and they had a daughter together. They broke up in 2007 but he continued to have visitation rights to their child.

In May 2014 he contacted Ms Tresson looking for €320 and threatened to drag her out of her workplace and kick her in the head if she didn't get him the cash. She was terrified and got him the money.

Waters continued to ring and text constantly looking for money which led to Ms Tresson handing over a further €1,000 over a couple of days.

She later told gardaí Waters threatened to shoot her and said he would do time for her, which she took to mean that he would serve a prison sentence for murdering her. He threatened to kill her and destroy her life and said he knew what time her partner left for work.

Ms Tresson said she lived in constant fear and didn't know what Waters was capable of doing. He was later arrested and brought in for questioning in July 2014.

Gda O'Donovan agreed with Caroline Biggs SC, defending that her client had a chaotic history involving debt through drug addiction which led him into contact with “very unpleasant people”.

Counsel submitted that Waters spent some time living on the streets and had both alcohol and gambling addictions.

Judge Patricia Ryan adjourned the sentence until November 6 next having heard the evidence and ordered a report from the Probation Service for that date.

Gda O'Donovan said Waters told Ms Sheridan that he needed the money for various reasons including paying compensation at Dun Laoghaire District Court. He claimed he was in physical danger and his child had been threatened.

On one occasion Ms Sheridan got 15 missed calls from Waters on her mobile and he contacted her work number six or seven times.

The relationship had continued, on and off, until November 2012, during which he continually asked for cash, sometimes telling Ms Sheridan that he had money owed to him from his grandmother's will and claiming that he needed money to help his brother out with his mortgage.

She ultimately loaned him over €10,000. On one occasion he handed over his passport as security but Waters later called her and demanded his passport be returned to him.

When she said she didn't have it to return to him, he threatened to break down the door of her home and go through “whoever” including her father, to get the passport back.

He threatened to kill Ms Sheridan's father, through both text and a phone call. He also threatened to kill Ms Sheridan if she didn't meet him outside her work place. He again claimed his daughter was in danger.

She told gardaí she wasn't sure if he was capable of physically harming her or her father and felt psychologically tortured by him

In December 2013 gardaí set up a surveillance operation after Ms Sheridan alerted them to the fact that she had arranged to meet Waters to hand over more cash. Officers spotted Waters and noticed he had a knife with him, which he pointed towards them in a threatening way when they approached him.

He ran off and the gardaí cashed after him. They ultimately had to use their pepper spray to arrest Waters.

He later made admissions in interview but when asked why he had threatened Ms Sheridan he replied that he was just stressed. He said he threatened her when he got desperate but claimed he would never harm her and said he cared about Ms Sheridan.

Waters told gardaí that he was in debt and his life and that of his daughter's was being threatened.

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