Woman ‘distressed’ by man who sent texts - court hears

Limavady Courthouse.

Limavady Courthouse.

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A woman who was harrassed by a man was left feeling “distressed” and “intimidated” after receiving texts and phone calls from him, a court heard this week.

Ronald Patton (37) of Ballygudden Road, Eglinton, received a suspended jail sentence for the harrassment which occurred on continuous dates at and between 29th June, 2014 and 15th July, 2014.

The court was told the messages were “abusive and offensive” where Patton had called the victim a “fenian b******” and “low-life trash scum”. The court heard Patton had been involved in a previous relationship with a relation of the victim.

A defence solicitor said there had been acrimony following the break-up of a relationship but it didn’t mitigate, in any way, Patton’s behaviour. She said Patton’s remarks were “out of character” for him given his own mother was Catholic. The court heard Patton described as a ‘hard working” and an “honest person who is fundamental to the family’s farm and the care of his parents”.

“He accepts he shoudn’t have committed these offences,” said the solicitor.

District Judge Liam McNally said it was a very serious offence and and there was no doubt it had caused the injured party great distress. Judge McNally said the best way to protect the victim was by imposing a three-month jail sentence, suspended for two years. A restraining order was also imposed forbidding Patton to contact the injured party. Patton must also pay £200 compensation to the victim.