Saturday 18 November 2017

'Love/Hate' actor confesses to harassing model

Robert Walsh in 'Love/Hate'
Robert Walsh in 'Love/Hate'
Model Emma Murphy
Robert Walsh

Eimear Cotter

A FORMER actor in RTE's hit gangland drama 'Love/Hate' has admitted to harassing model Emma Murphy.

Robert Walsh (32) – who appeared as hitman Jimmy Byrne in the first series of the show – bombarded the model and dancer with nuisance phone calls.

A court heard that Walsh made a total of 35 calls to Ms Murphy's private mobile phone over a four-week period last year, leaving her afraid to leave her house or go to work.

Ms Murphy also excluded herself from the social scene she was involved in, as she was concerned that the caller knew a lot of her personal details.

Judge David McHugh ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing to September.

The defendant, of Abbeyvale Avenue in Swords, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to a charge of harassment.

Garda Sergeant Maria Callaghan said that between June 24 and July 22 last year Ms Murphy received a total of 35 calls from a blocked phone number, with 12 calls coming on the night of July 12, 2012.

Sgt Callaghan said that the caller did not say anything, but Ms Murphy was aware that there was someone on the other end of the line.

The sergeant said Ms Murphy reported the harassment to gardai in Finglas, and told them she suspected Walsh, her former dance teacher, was the culprit.

Sgt Callaghan said that gardai later seized the defendant's mobile phone and had it analysed, which confirmed that the calls were made from his phone.

The court heard that Walsh has never been in trouble before.

Defence solicitor Terence Hanahoe said that Walsh, a former soldier, was currently unemployed and living at home with his parents.

In relation to the harassment, Mr Hanahoe said that Walsh was going through a difficult time and was drinking heavily.

He said it was "silly" of Walsh to have been ringing Ms Murphy. The solicitor said that he believed Walsh needed some kind of assistance and would benefit from working with the probation services.

FRIGHTENING

Judge McHugh said he imagined the incident was quite frightening for Ms Murphy.

Walsh starred in the first series of 'Love/Hate' alongside Robert Sheehan, who played troubled assassin Darren. During the series, his character was accused of blasting Darren's brother Robbie.

Irish Independent

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