Sunday 18 February 2018

Woman threatened with jail after 6,300 abusive calls in a month

Declan Brennan

A WOMAN who made more than 6,000 abusive phonecalls to a solicitor in the space of a month has been told she will go to jail if she contacts the man or his family again.

Antoinette Lynch (58) of Clonmel Road, Ballymun, Dublin, pleaded guilty to harassing Darach Connolly by telephone at Connolly Solicitor's office between February 1, 2005, and July 19, 2008.

She also admitted harassing barrister Alistair Rutherdale between January 1, 2005, and July 17, 2008, by telephoning and calling at his home address.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that between June 16 and July 16, 2008, Ms Lynch made 6,372 calls to the men.

More than 6,000 of the calls were to Mr Connolly's home, office and mobile phone.

The harassment began after Ms Lynch was removed as executor of her uncle's estate and Mr Connolly and Mr Rutherdale were hired to handle the matter in the High Court.

Garda Olive Holden said the calls, made between 6am and midnight, were "increasingly abusive, foul-mouthed and irrational".

On one day in July 2008, Ms Lynch rang Mr Connolly's family home 80 times during a 35-minute period.

On other occasions, she called to Mr Rutherford's home and rang the doorbell incessantly -- sometimes up to 40 times.

The court was told that since she had been charged, Ms Lynch had had no contact with the victims or their families.

A medical report from Dr Helen O'Neill said that Ms Lynch, who has no previous convictions, had features of "paranoid personality disorder".

Judge Patrick McCartan said he was "disturbed" to hear that Ms Lynch still felt the administration of the estate was an issue for her and ordered her to take an oath that she would not interfere or trouble Mr Connolly or Mr Rutherdale or their families or staff.

He warned: "If you are brought back, I will send you to prison."

Irish Independent

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