Friday 23 August 2019

No jail for man over Facebook threats

Stock image
Stock image

Declan Brennan

A man has avoided jail after threatening to put intimate images of his ex-partner up on Facebook if she didn't pay him €5,000.

John Lyons (50) told gardaí that he was annoyed at the woman after they had split up. He said he would not have put the pictures online and did not really know "how to work Facebook".

Lyons, of Swans Nest Avenue, Kilbarrack, Dublin, pleaded guilty to demanding money with menace.

He has no previous convictions and numerous references described him as respectful, honest, hard-working and an excellent father.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that after the break-up, Lyons was upset and believed that the woman owed him €5,000, from money he claimed he spent on her during the relationship.

He called and told her: "I was thinking that if you don't have my money, I will be putting your videos and pictures all over Facebook."

He then sent a topless photograph taken of her while in the shower to her mobile phone. This was one out of six intimate photos she knew he had of her that were consensually taken during the relationship.

Judge Pauline Codd said that it was a vile offence to threaten to breach somebody's privacy and right to bodily integrity in this manner.

She said it was also a breach of trust and "a rather infantile threat for a man of almost 50".

But the judge noted Lyons was a man of otherwise good character and a good family man. She suspended a prison term of five months.

"There needs to be some type of deterrent for these type of offences," Judge Codd said.

Irish Independent

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