#Revenge #porn accused refused bail over witness interference concerns


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A 54-year-old man accused of sending sexually explicit images of his ex-partner to her teenage son via Facebook was denied bail yesterday.

The Co Down man, who cannot be named to protect the anonymity of his former partner, is due to stand trial on charges of harassing the woman and of disclosing private sexual photographs on two separate occasions.

He has denied the charges and a trial has been scheduled to take place at Downpatrick Crown Court in September.

Yesterday, the accused made an application for bail on the grounds that he wants to spend time with his terminally-ill father.

Objecting to the bail application on several grounds – including a fear he could interfere with witnesses, namely his ex-partner and her teenage son – Crown barrister James Johnston told Judge Sandra Crawford that the accused was a man with an extensive criminal record and a history of non-compliance with court orders.

When Judge Crawford asked Mr Johnston to provide a background to the allegations levelled against the defendant, the barrister said that over a period of days last July he sent his ex-partner text messages and phone calls on both her work and home phones.

This behaviour, the Crown said, was a course of conduct which amounted to harassment.

Mr Johnston continued that the other two charges faced by the defendant were linked to sexually explicit images he had of the woman on his phone and, “when she didn’t respond to his phone calls and texts, he sent these images to two people”.

The court heard the recipients were the woman’s teenage son – who was sent an image after accepting a friend request from the defendant on Facebook – and another man who was sent the images and told by the defendant “she is mine, not yours”.

Mr Johnston told the hearing that the proposed bail address was in close proximity to where the ex-partner and her son live.

Telling the court the relationship between the defendant and the woman was “on and off”, he also revealed that the current status between them was “unknown”.

The Crown barrister said: “There may be questions about their willingness to come to court… but even if they don’t attend court, the police have significant mobile phone and other evidence to continue with a prosecution should the injured parties not make themselves amenable.”

Outlining several objections to bail, Mr Johnston also revealed that on a previous occasion whilst on bail, the defendant called to his ex-partner’s home where he “touched” the teenage son’s girlfriend.

Defence counsel Barry Gibson told the court the bail application was being made because his client’s elderly father was terminally ill and “he would like to spend time with his father”.

Judge Crawford said that whilst the court had sympathy for the situation regarding the defendant’s father, she also had to consider “the risks that have been outlined by the prosecution”.

Saying the defendant “has demonstrated a persistent inability to comply with court orders”, the judge refused bail on the grounds that she was satisfied there was a potential risk of interfering with witnesses and of re-offending.

 

Source: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/revenge-porn-accused-refused-bail-over-witness-interference-concerns-37101462

 


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