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Voice expert 'will clear me of abuse call to neighbour'

A MAN accused of calling his neighbour a "stupid b***h" in an offensive telephone call plans to hire a voice expert to prove the voice in a taped recording of the alleged phone conversation is not his, a court heard.

Paul Fennell (50) has denied he made the abusive telephone call to his neighbour, Janice Kelly, in what has been described as an ongoing "neighbourhood dispute".

The case has been set down for hearing after Fennell failed to have the matter struck out due to the delay in bringing it before the court.



STRESS

The accused, of Palmers Drive, Palmerstown, appeared before Dublin District Court charged with sending an offensive message, contrary to Section 7 of the Postal and Telecommunication Services (Amendment) Act, 1999.

It is alleged the incident took place on April 11, 2008, at Palmers Glade, Palmerstown.

Fennell's solicitor, Peter Connolly, claimed his client had been prejudiced by the "inordinate delay" in the matter coming before the court, saying the alleged incident took place over two years ago.

Mr Connolly said it took the gardai 15 and a half months to apply for a summons.

He said the delay was causing Fennell huge stress and anxiety, and he has been to see his GP suffering from abdominal pains.

State solicitor Caroline Deasy said the garda investigation into the allegation was of a technical nature, and involved the examination of phone records.

She said there was no evidence that Fennell was at risk of an unfair trial due to the delay.

Judge Olann Kelleher agreed with the State, saying there was no evidence Mr Fennell was at risk of an unfair trial.

The court heard the DPP has directed summary disposal of the matter in the District Court.

Outlining the allegation for jurisdiction purposes, Garda Graham Doolan said it was alleged that at 10.45am on April 11, 2008 Mrs Kelly received a phone call from a man, whose voice she recognised as belonging to Fennell.

The man allegedly called her "a stupid b***h", made derogatory remarks about her husband.

And the caller threatened: "Do you honestly think this is the end of it?



specialist

Judge Kelleher said he would accept jurisdiction of the matter.

Mr Connolly said Fennell absolutely denied the charge and the matter was adjourned for hearing to a date in September.

Mr Connolly asked for the long adjournment as he said Fennell planned to hire a voice recognition specialist to prove the voice on a recording which Mrs Kelly made of the phone conversation is not his.

hnews@herald.ie


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