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Community service for man who harassed ex-partner through fake Instagram profile

Defendant was asked: 'Did you stop for 10 seconds to think about what effect your offending would have on your victim? How scared it made her feel? How trapped she felt? Of course not'

A Waringstown man who harassed his ex-partner through a fake Instagram account has been sentenced to probation and community service.

Sentencing the 31-year-old, the district judge stated: “Did you stop for 10 seconds to think about what effect your offending would have on your victim? How scared it made her feel? How trapped she felt? Of course not.”

Jamie Healey, of Windsor Close, appeared for sentencing on breaching a non-molestation order and harassment at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that police received a report from the injured party of multiple breaches of a non-molestation order between June 25 and August 11, 2021.

The female claimed to have received multiple messages via Instagram from an account named ‘DaveFerris2020’, but she did not reply as she did not recognise the name.

She also reported receiving several calls from a public telephone box on Great Victoria Street in Belfast, near the train station the defendant used to travel home from work.

On one occasion, whilst out for dinner in Belfast, the injured party exited into the smoking area and observed a Vauxhall Astra reverse and back off at speed.

She later found that one of the tyres on her car was flat. The injured party told police that this was a new car and no one, other than her father and sister, knew of the purchase.

The female later received two messages from the aforementioned Instagram account which made reference to the “blue Seat”.

Police found that the recovery email address for this account was linked to the defendant and he was subsequently arrested.

During interview, Healey admitted to be the sole creator and user of this account.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny admitted that his client had a “relevant record” having received a binding over for similar offending in March of this year.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “Until we start to take domestic violence seriously, it will continue to be a sore in out psyche. A binding over should never be considered in acts of domestic violence.”

Mr Lunny commented: “He has a limited record, albeit relevant. He is in full time work and for what it is worth he accepts that the relationship is now over.”

District Judge Kelly said: “Mr Healey, from your presentence report what concerns you most about the prospect of going to prison is the impact on your mental health and the loss of your employment.

“Did you stop for 10 seconds to think about what effect your offending would have on your victim? How scared it made her feel? How trapped she felt? Of course not. You are only concerned with Mr Healey.”

The defendant was sentenced to a combination consisting of 12 months probation and 80 hours of community service.

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