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Phone fiend jailed after 8-day death threat blitz

A man who made almost 450 nuisance and threatening texts and calls to his neighbour over eight days has been sentenced to three years for harassment, a threat to kill and possession of heroin.

Jason Comerford (27) had helped Barry O'Halloran track down his laptop after it had been stolen from an apartment block they both lived in.

He had approached him the day after the burglary and offered to help him find it.

Garda Declan Reynolds told Karen O'Connor, prosecuting that Mr O'Halloran got into a car with Comerford that day and they drove around for 25 minutes before Comerford got out, "had a discussion with someone" and came back to the car with the laptop, which he placed at the passenger seat.

Mr O'Halloran handed over €1,000 to Comerford for retrieving the computer.

Garda Reynolds said that over the next eight days Mr O'Halloran received 225 text messages and 219 calls from Comerford telling him not to tell the gardai and threatening to kill him if he did.

Comerford, of Knockmore Green, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to harassment on dates between June 30 and July 7, 2009 and a threat to kill or cause serious harm to Mr O'Halloran on July 1, 2009.


He also pleaded guilty to possession of €9,600 worth of heroin on November 3, 2008.

Comerford had thrown the drugs out of his bedroom window when he saw gardai coming to search his house but he later took full responsibility for them.

He claimed in a subsequent garda interview that he had "no choice but to sell them" in order to pay off a drug debt.

Comerford had 32 previous convictions which were all dealt with in the District Court and were mainly for traffic offences.

Judge Yvonne Murphy sentenced Comerford to three years with the final 18 months suspended. She backdated the term to when he first went into custody in December

Ronan Prendergast, defending, said that Comerford had knocked down a two-year-old child when he was 15 years old after he took his sister's car for a drive.

The child later died and both he and his family had to move out of home as result of threats they later received.

He said his client had been left with a significant facial scar after being assaulted in prison.