Former tennis player jailed for harassment of children's coach
A former ranked tennis player who had forty photos of a woman downloaded from her Facebook account in his room has been jailed for three years for harassment.
Daryle Singh (46) sent 45 texts and 41 emails to tennis player and children’s coach Mariyanne Levova between September and November 2011.
He went to her parents’ house in County Laois after she had made a complaint against him and asked her father for her number so he could get his computer back from the gardai.
Ms Levova told gardai she never gave Singh her contact details and didn’t know how he had obtained a new phone number, which she only shared with her parents and close friends.
Singh, a computer software engineer of Castleknock Lodge, Castleknock, pleaded guilty on his trial date at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to harassing Ms Levova between September and November 2011. He has no previous convictions.
Garda Ke Sheng told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that Ms Levova first encountered the Trinity College graduate in 2005 at Castleknock Tennis Club and only knew him to see at tournaments.
She met him again when she moved to Westwood Gyms Clontarf and tried to avoid him after he consistently tried to talk to her.
She received several unsolicited text messages from him on September 27, 2011 asking her personal questions.
Between October 7 and 13, 2011 she noticed Singh sitting by the tennis court looking at her and taking notes as she taught class. She told gardai that on one occasion he waited three hours for her to finish teaching and then left.
She spotted him waiting for a bus she used to get before she moved house. On another occasion he shouted in her face and “spooked” her students after asking her about which tennis court she was going to use.
Gda Sheng said Singh believed he was in a relationship with Ms Levova and called her from a landline asking if she had sent gardaí after him.
Ms Levova described in a victim impact statement how she had to change mobile phone numbers twice and deactivate her Facebook account, which caused her to lose touch with friend’s from her native Bulgaria.
She said she is afraid of walking alone and is constantly looking over her shoulder.
Shane Costelloe BL, defending, submitted to Judge Mary Ellen Ring that his client’s eventual plea spared Ms Levova having to go through the trial.
Counsel offered an apology on his client’s behalf and submitted that Singh hadn’t thought the offence was as serious as it was.
Mr Costelloe said he had “no instructions” as to how Singh had acquired Ms Levova’s contact details.
Judge Ring commented that there was “little to mitigate” in this case. She imposed a five year protection order on Singh to stay away from Ms Levova on his release from jail.
Gda Sheng said Singh continued to contact Ms Levova on a new number that she had not given to anyone bar close friends and family.
He went to her family home and stood at the front door asking her father for her contact details as the gardaí had taken equipment which he needed for work.
Gda Sheng agreed with Mr Costelloe that Singh has stayed away from Ms Levova since being charged with the offence in November 2012.
He further agreed that Singh pleaded guilty after the prosecution facilitated a meeting between him and Ms Levova outside the court room.
Ms Levova told him she was standing over her allegations and asserted that they had never been in a relationship.