| 16.3°C Dublin

'Neighbour from hell' spared jail over secret filming in land dispute

Close

Creepy Thomas Kelly was given a suspended sentence

Creepy Thomas Kelly was given a suspended sentence

Creepy Thomas Kelly was given a suspended sentence

A homeowner who used hidden cameras to secretly film his neighbours with an "obsession bordering on paranoia" has been given a four-month suspended sentence.

Thomas Kelly (66), who had 16 CCTV cameras with live feeds to a TV in his living room, was spared jail for harassing three neighbours in what was described as a "land dispute of the worst kind".

He had denied the charges, maintaining that a camera covered in camouflage netting was used to catch one of his neighbours - Paul Lynam - repeatedly engaging in a sex act in the man's back garden.

Suspending the sentence for two years, Judge David McHugh told Blanchardstown District Court that Kelly was a "neighbour from hell" and ordered him to stay away from the victims "forthwith" and indefinitely.

Kelly immediately served notice that he will appeal the case.

Kelly, of Weir View, Lucan, was found guilty of two counts of harassing Mr Lynam at Weir View, Lucan, between July 1 and July 15, 2016.

Prolonged

He was also convicted of two more counts of harassing John Mooney and William Stapleton between February 1 and February 12 that year.

Defence solicitor Valerie Buckley said Kelly had not come to the attention of gardai before or since. She said the charges arose from a land dispute that was before the civil courts.

Victim impact statements, which were not read out, showed the effect was over a prolonged period, the judge said.

He suspended the sentence for two years.

The court had heard that Mr Lynam discovered two cameras on a cliff at the back of his home.

"I'd a feeling for a long time I was being watched," he said.

Mr Lynam, along with neighbours Mr Mooney - a journalist - and Mr Stapleton, whose homes were also captured, complained to gardai, who discovered a camera on top of a cliff.

Video footage showed zooming in on the rear of certain homes.

One clip appeared to show Mr Lynam engaging in a sex act to the rear of his own home.

When asked by gardai if that was the case, Mr Lynam said it was.

Kelly said he had complained to Tusla after witnessing Mr Lynam's actions, and claimed he used the camera to catch him in the act.

Kelly also claimed the 16 cameras were primarily used for security and to monitor the boundaries of his land.


Privacy