Friday 24 May 2019

Made a Garda's life 'living hell'

A woman who made a female garda's life 'a living hell' over a six year period by making abusive phone calls to her, sending derogatory letters to a garda station about her and messaging her over social media has been placed on a two year probation bond.

Sarah Melinn (36) has also been ordered to stay out of two north Dublin towns - Swords and Skerries and to have no contact with the injured party.

Melinn alluded the garda was in a relationship with a man whom she was obsessed with but has now accepted she was delusional, no relationship existed and her behaviour was not normal.

The defendant, originally from Skerries, Co Dublin and now living in Harvey's Quay in Limerick pleaded guilty at Balbriggan District Court to harassing Garda Rebecca McGowan on dates between October 1, 2010 and January 1, 2015.

She further pleaded guilty to harassing the same garda at Swords Garda Station on dates between February 18, 2015 and November 4, 2016.

She has three previous convictions for theft, threatening and abusive behaviour and criminal damage.

Sergeant Glenn Brady gave evidence that the defendant and Gda McGowan knew each other since childhood.

The defendant's behaviour became erratic over the years and on July 3, 2015 Gda McGowan made a complaint the defendant had sent her derogatory messages via social media and by sending letters to Swords Garda Station.

She made numerous abusive phone calls from 2012 to 2014 from her personal phone to Gda McGowan and to Swords Garda Station.

The defendant also made abusive, threatening and defamatory phone calls to Gda McGowan via the Crime Stoppers phone line and sent registered letters containing further abuse to Gda McGowan's home.

Sgt Brady said the phone calls ceased on November 28, 2016.

Defence solicitor Mary Arnold said the defendant has been diagnosed as schizophrenic and wasn't taking her medication.

'She didn't have acceptance of her illness and didn't acknowledge how seriously ill she is but she accepts it now,' said Ms Arnold.

'She also accepts she put Gda McGowan and her family through hell.'

Ms Arnold said the defendant is 'turning her life around' and has gotten a part-time job and more stability in her life.

'This is the first time she accepts fully the upset and victimisation,' said Ms Arnold.

Ms Arnold said the defendant accepts her behaviour and impact is something she now regrets and is very sorry.

'She accepts now that when she goes off her medication psychosis comes into play.'

A Probation Report was handed into Balbriggan District Court recommending the defendant be placed under Probation supervision.

Placing her on a two-year Probation Bond Judge Dempsey warned the defendant to obey all the conditions set out in that bond.

Judge Dempsey warned the defendant: 'Any breach and it's custody you will be facing.'

The Judge advised her to 'continue with your medication'.

Fingal Independent