Saturday 24 February 2018

First Dates star Daphney Sanasie denies harassing celebrity chef Dylan McGrath

RTE First Dates Ireland star Daphney Sanasie has been charged with harassing celebrity chef Dylan McGrath
RTE First Dates Ireland star Daphney Sanasie has been charged with harassing celebrity chef Dylan McGrath

Tom Tuite

RTE First Dates star Daphney Sanasie will go on trial in September accused of harassing celebrity chef Dylan McGrath.

The 26-year-old model, who has an address at Jamestown Road, in Dublin 8, is accused of harassment of Dylan McGrath (39) at various locations in the State from Sept. 9 until Nov. 21 last. The charge is contrary to Section 10 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

Her case at Dublin District Court had been adjourned until yesterday to allow her time to brief her lawyers.

When it resumed on Friday, her barrister Gareth Robinson told Judge Cormac Dunne “a hearing date is required”. He confirmed that she is pleading not guilty.

Dressed in a blue dress, black high heels and gloves and clutching a Louis Vuitton handbag, Ms Sanasie did not address the court. She stood behind her barrister smiling as the judge proceeded to set her trial date.

A solicitor for the DPP said the prosecution will call 10 witnesses and he confirmed that there was no CCTV evidence. The court also heard that the trial “might take up to a day”.

Judge Dunne asked how many witnesses Ms Sanasie expected to call and Mr Robinson BL said that there would be “one perhaps two” giving evidence for the defence. The judge ordered that the non-jury trial will take place on Sept. 30 next.

Mr Robinson said there has been complete disclosure of prosecution evidence but there was an issue in relation to a mobile phone and the defence may be asking to have it examined.

The case will be listed again for mention in mid-September to confirm witnesses will be available for the trial.

She first appeared at a late sitting of the court on April 15 last when evidence of her arrest was given by Garda Colm Kelly of the Bridewell station.

At her previous hearing the court had heard that the DPP has directed summary disposal of the case meaning it is to stay in the district court and not go forward to the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers.

The offence, at district court level, can result in a fine and a maximum 12 month sentence.

Gda Kelly has complied with an order to provide disclosure of the prosecution evidence.

The South African model was known as Federica Sanasie when she appeared on hit matchmaking TV series First Dates earlier this year.

McGrath – one of Ireland's best known chefs – was a proprietor of Mint in Ranelagh in Dublin which was awarded a coveted Michelin Star before opening the Rustic Stone Restaurant by Dylan McGrath on South Great George's Street in Dublin city-centre. He later became a judge on the Irish version of Masterchef which went on to be a massive hit.

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