Thursday 23 November 2017

Journalism student infatuated with her tutor avoids criminal conviction

Roisin Burke gave an undertaking to the court
Roisin Burke gave an undertaking to the court

Kathryn Hayes

A JOURNALISM student who became infatuated with her tutor has avoided a criminal conviction after giving an undertaking to have no further contact with him.

Roisin Burke, with an address at John's Square, Limerick, pleaded guilty at Limerick District Court to harassing her former teacher in April 2011, contrary to Section 10 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Persons Act.

The journalism tutor made a complaint to gardai after Ms Burke made damaging false allegations about him on social media. She also made personal approaches to him and made numerous contacts by text messages and phone calls.

Before considering sentence at Limerick District Court yesterday, Judge Eugene O'Kelly said it was a "case of infatuation".

He was told by solicitor John Herbert that since April 2011 there had been no further incident and said his client had received counselling and had "an awareness" of her difficulty and "taken ownership of it".

He said the 25-year-old had completed her Masters and made significant advances in her professional life.

"She has dealt with it in a most complete fashion," Mr Herbert said.

Ms Burke gave an undertaking to the court that she would not have any further contact with her former tutor by any medium, direct or indirect.

Referring to a report by a clinical psychologist, Judge O'Kelly said it showed there was "never any criminal intent in her activities".

Striking out the charge, he said he did not think "she should be saddled with this for the rest of her life".

Irish Independent

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