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Jail sentence for man who admits harassing ex-partner and asking her for money

Defence said: 'This is an unusual and toxic relationship. He accepts that he made the phone calls to her'

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A man who made 30 calls to his ex-partner – in some cases asking for money – has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Court heard that in a submission the 31-year-old’s ex said she had “had enough of his coercive control”.

John Doran, of Castleview, Gilford pleaded guilty to harassment at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court last Friday, appearing via videolink from Maghaberry.

Prosecution outlined that on September 9, between 10.30am and 4.30pm, the injured party claimed to have received 30 phone calls from the defendant.

Doran thanked the injured party for sending him money and was asking her to send him more.

She told police that she had previously been in a relationship with the defendant and that bail conditions prevented him from contacting her.

Doran was subsequently arrested and during interview he admitted to receiving money from the injured party but claimed this had been prearranged.

The defendant claimed he had not used a landline telephone or a mobile to contact anyone.

Defence solicitor Pat Vernon said: “This is an unusual and toxic relationship. He accepts that he made the phone calls to her.

“There have been a number of allegations levelled against Doran from the woman; on a number of occasions she has withdrawn her statements and told the PPS she did not want to go ahead with the case.”

He added: “There were a number of charges but this is the only one outstanding.”

District Judge Steven Keown commented that according to an email correspondence from the  injured party she had “had enough of his coercive control”.

Mr Vernon stated: “In the last eight weeks, he has been out one week on bail and that decision was made as the more serious allegations had been withdrawn.

“She met up with him in Banbridge and went to the bank at which point she called the police to say he was in Banbridge.”

District Judge Keown pointed out that this was in breach of a suspended sentence.

Mr Vernon commented: “That was a totally different offence, nothing of this nature.

“He has been in custody for 10 weeks, which is effectively time served. It is the same on every occasion, her attitude changes by the day and he gets sucked in.”

District Judge Keown stated: “This is his problem. I think you are trying to make him into the victim.”

Mr Vernon said: “No, that is not the case. He is being stupid getting sucked in, he has never done community service or probation and there is an interim injunction until February.”

Prosecution did make an application for a restraining order but upon liaising with the injured party in court it was established she did not wish for one to be put in place.

District Judge Keown stated: “This is a serious matter of harassment which would appear to have a great impact given the injured party’s submissions and is one which I submit has crossed the custody threshold.”

Doran was sentenced to three months in prison and a further three months were invoked from the live suspended sentence.

The defendant was sentenced to a total of six months in prison.

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