Wednesday 21 February 2018

Former politician ordered to take part in restorative justice programme after making 40 'drunken gibberish' hoax calls

Former councillor Killian Forde pleaded guilty to hoax calls Picture: Collins
Former councillor Killian Forde pleaded guilty to hoax calls Picture: Collins

Andrew Phelan

Former Labour and Sinn Fein Dublin city councillor who made “threatening” hoax calls to a man has been told to take part in a restorative justice programme.

Killian Forde made 40 telephone calls consisting of "drunken gibberish" and also threatening “adverse consequences” if the victim did not contact him.

Judge Patricia McNamara referred him to the programme and remanded him on continuing bail for three months. Forde (46) made all the phone calls in the middle of the night, between 12.30am and 6am.

Forde was a councillor with Sinn Fein from 2004 to 2010, before switching to Labour. He resigned his seat on Dublin City Council in 2011 after he took up a job assisting immigrants and refugees.

The defendant, with addresses at Carndonagh Park in Donaghmede and Sutton Park in Sutton, admitted to making 40 hoax telephone calls.

The offence is contrary to the Post Office (Amendment) Act, 1951, and the calls were placed over a six hour period to a house at Homelawn Drive in Tallaght on October 7, 2014.

Forde had pleaded guilty on an earlier date and the case was back before Tallaght District Court today for the production of a probation report.

Garda Stephen Neylon said the victim received 40 phone calls and voice messages from the accused.

“The messages were generally of a threatening nature demanding that the injured party make contact with him and outlining there would be adverse consequences if the injured party didn’t,” Garda Neylon said,

Forde attended Tallaght Garda Station on October 10, 2014 and made a voluntary cautioned statement. He was co-operative and indicated that he had been intoxicated at the time he made the calls, Garda Neylon said.

He had no previous convictions. The case had had adverse effects on Forde who had expressed his remorse, his barrister George Burns said.

Judge McNamara said the accused seemed to have co-operated fully and that the probation report was positive.

She said the case was suitable for restorative justice, which would involve the victim attending if he wished to do so.

“If that is a positive report I can look a little bit more favourably (on the case),” Judge McNamara said.

She adjourned it to a date in December.

Forde, wearing a grey blazer, white shirt and black slacks said “Thank you, judge” when the hearing ended.

A sergeant previously alleged the phone calls were mostly "drunken gibberish" but Forde also told a victim that "you'll be got".

Garda Neylon said on an earlier date in court he started an investigation after the victim complained about receiving a number of nuisance phone calls.

Garda Neylon said the mobile phone number was registered to the defendant.

He said the voice messages and phone calls were of a threatening and intimidating nature, and were along the lines of "you'll be got". Sergeant Michael Ahern had also alleged a lot of the messages were "drunken gibberish".

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