High court sets aside jail sentence for man who took 12,000 photos of neighbour without her knowledge

High court sets aside jail sentence for man who took 12,000 photos of neighbour without her knowledge

The High Court has set aside the nine-month custodial sentence imposed by a lower court on a man who admitted taking 12,000 pictures of a female neighbour without her knowledge or consent.

The orders were imposed on Mark Mooney of Corish Park, Wexford Town who in 2018 was convicted before the District Court after he admitted harassing a neighbour, contrary to Section 10 of the 1997 Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

The District Court judge hearing the case imposed a nine-month custodial sentence on Mooney but suspended the final seven months on condition he does not reside within a distance of 8km of the injured party.

The District Court also made a separate permanent order that the man does not reside within 8km of the woman.

Mooney brought a High Court challenge against the orders.

In his judgment today, Mr Justice Garrett Simons agreed that the sentence was disproportionate and should be set aside, and will rule at a later date if the matter is to be remitted back to the District Court.

The court heard that Mooney, who is aged in his 50s, had taken thousands of photos of the woman over an eight-year period while she was in the garden of her house.

The woman was unaware that she was being photographed. Gardaí recovered the photographs from the hard drive of Mooney's computer.

Mooney, represented by Dylan Redmond Bl instructed by solicitor Edward King, brought High Court judicial review proceedings seeking to have the sentence set aside.

The action was brought on grounds including that it was unreasonable, disproportionate and adversely affected his constitutional rights.

It was also submitted that the District Court orders were made in excess of jurisdiction.

He claimed that the order would prohibit Mooney from residing in the town where he has always lived.

The proceedings were against the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The DPP had opposed the action and had argued that Mooney's complaints should be dealt with by way of an appeal of the District Court's orders to the Circuit Court.

In his decision, Mr Justice Simons said that he was satisfied to set aside the sentence imposed by the District Court on Mooney in its entirety.

He said that the District Court orders against Mooney were made in excess of that court's jurisdiction.

The restriction imposed on Mooney, he said was "disproportionate in that it involves an unjustified and excessive interference with the applicants right to liberty and his right to free movement within the State".

He said that this was "one of the exceptional cases where judicial review was a more appropriate remedy than an appeal".

The Judge then adjourned the matter to October when he said he would consider submissions from counsel in the case whether the matter should be remitted back to the District Court.

Mooney was not present in court for today's ruling.

More on this topic

Family of delivery driver shot dead in Belfast to keep fighting for justiceFamily of delivery driver shot dead in Belfast to keep fighting for justice

Man facing trial in connection with murder of Peter Butterly to face extra chargesMan facing trial in connection with murder of Peter Butterly to face extra charges

Young man killed in act of ‘pitiless savagery’, court toldYoung man killed in act of ‘pitiless savagery’, court told

10 charges brought against teenager after March collision that injured Cork toddler10 charges brought against teenager after March collision that injured Cork toddler


More in this Section

Numbers on trolleys in Irish hospitals hits five-month highNumbers on trolleys in Irish hospitals hits five-month high

Westmeath obstetrician 'relieved' as Medical Council dismisses case against her over 'weak' evidenceWestmeath obstetrician 'relieved' as Medical Council dismisses case against her over 'weak' evidence

Man, 70s, dies after early-morning crash in Co RoscommonMan, 70s, dies after early-morning crash in Co Roscommon

Beef crisis latest:  'Self harm' being inflicted on industry; Concern for non-EU workers laid offBeef crisis latest: 'Self harm' being inflicted on industry; Concern for non-EU workers laid off


Lifestyle

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine advises a 20-something man who isn’t having any luck meeting women in bars and clubs.Ask a counsellor: ‘Neither me or my mates have had a date for years – what are we doing wrong?’

As Aussie beer and cider brand Gayle launches in the UK, Abi Jackson finds out more from co-founder Virginia Buckworth.‘Brewed with love’: How new Aussie brand Gayle is putting ‘gay ale’ on the world drinks map

Frédérique Lecomte uses drama to help child soldiers, as well as other victims and perpetrators in conflict zones, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Healing power of theatre

With two drum kits and three guitars, Thumper really do live up to their name, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Happy to be part of the rock revival

More From The Irish Examiner