Limerick man sent 147 messages to woman he is accused of assaulting

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Judge Patricia Harney

A JUDGE refused bail to a Limerick man who sent 147 messages to the woman he is accused of assaulting and who has a protection order against him.

The man is facing serious charges of assault on his girlfriend in early November, Gardaí told Judge Patricia Harney in the Limerick District court this week.

She was told Gardaí were objecting to further bail on the grounds that the accused had already been granted bail on the charges but had not obeyed the conditions which included having no contact with the alleged injured party.

The court heard that there is a protection order in place, which was breached by the accused trying to make contact.

A Garda witness said that she fears the alleged victim “will be in danger of injury…or intimidation,” if he is freed pending a prosecution.

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The charges he is facing, the Garda said, carry maximum prison  terms of five years and a year on conviction.

The alleged victim gave evidence and told the court that she is under “awful stress. I don’t know whether to go back to the apartment and he knows where I work.”

She denied in cross examination by the accused’s solicitor that she had tried to contact him or members of his family.

“I have had absolutely no contact with him since the night he put me in hospital,” she told the court.

The accused man also took the stand. Asked what he thought about being in custody in prison after being arrested he said “it was the worst experience of my life.”

He told Judge Harney that he did not understand that “no contact” meant no electronic contact “but I do understand now,” he said.

Revoking bail and commiting him to jail until December 13 to await directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Judge Harney said that there had been “a phenomenal number of calls,” starting from 5.30am and going on “for days on end,”

“Notwithstanding the fact that he has no previous convictions, bail is a serious matter and I’m satisfied he breached bail conditions,” she said.