Tuesday 16 January 2018

Man told former girlfriend he would 'blow her head off' after she started seeing new man, court hears

The Courts of Criminal Justice
The Courts of Criminal Justice

Declan Brennan

A man has been jailed for sending “grossly threatening” text messages to his ex-girlfriend after she started seeing another man.

Dean Brennan (28) made threats to shoot Louise Hanna, blow her head off, burn her house down and kill her and her new partner Richard Doyle.

Brennan of Casement Park, Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to making a threat to kill or cause serious harm to Ms Hanna at McKee Park, Finglas on December 18, 2014. He also admitted harassing the same woman at her home on December 26, 2014.

Judge Pauline Codd imposed a four year prison sentence but suspended the last two years on condition Brennan remains drug and alcohol free during that time and continues to receive counselling with the Probation Services.

Judge Codd also ordered that Brennan does not communicate by any means with the victims or their families and does not approach within half a mile of their homes or work place for a period of seven years.

The court heard that Brennan had only recently been released from prison when he sent the threatening texts to Ms Hanna.

The couple had being in a relationship for four years that had ended and Brennan reacted to this in an “unacceptable” way, Grainne O'Neill BL, defending, said.

He sent her 13 texts in one day. In these texts he said “I'll die before I see you two together”, “I will not hesitate to put you in the ground” and “I'm going to fucking murder you”.

He also called the couple “sad junkies” and texted later: “I want five grand by the end of the week otherwise I'm going to blow your head off your shoulders”. He also said he would burn her house down if he found Mr Doyle there.

On the second date he sent eleven texts to the victims and told Ms Hanna he was on his way over.

She contacted gardaí who came to her house. Brennan's text also included “Swear on me kid's life, you are dead, you'll be lucky if I don't get youse tonight...gonna cut you to pieces”.

The victim said her life had changed since the threats because she was now afraid to go out and do normal things.

She said: “He won't let me live a happy life. He said if he can't have me no-one else will. I'm afraid that when he does get released he will continue to hurt me”.

Ms O'Neill told the court that her client had not accepted the relationship was well and truly over and that his reaction was completely unacceptable. She said he was embarrassed and sorry and was happy to obey the barring order.

She said he was highly intoxicated at the time and has a drink and drugs problem. While in custody on these charges he has engaged in anger and compassion counselling programmes.

Counsel said he has completed a course in non-violence and a drugs recovery programme. Brennan's 14 previous convictions include one for robbery and nine for public order offences.

Judge Codd said the texts were grossly threatening and very frightening for the victim to receive.

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