Woman distressed by texts and phonecalls

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A woman was harassed by a man to the point of feeling distressed and intimidated after receiving texts and phone calls from him, the Magistrates Court has heard.

In the dock was Ronald Patton (37) of Ballygudden Road, Eglinton, who received a three-month suspended jail sentence for the harassment which occurred on continuous dates between June 29 and July 15, last year.

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

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

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

District Judge Liam McNally said it was a very serious offence 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.

He was also pay £200 in compensation.