A woman testified in court yesterday that her ex-partner was stalking her by following her around Cork City — sitting beside her on the bus, hiding behind bushes in a park and, on one day, sending her 72 texts.
Inspector Eileen Foster said the woman had been walking on Douglas Rd, heading towards a bus stop, when she received a text from her ex-partner to say that she had just missed one bus but that another bus of a different number was on the way.
The woman could not see her ex-partner, Richard Barry, aged 56, anywhere in the vicinity of the bus stop that day.
She had felt that he was concealed somewhere watching her every move, the garda inspector said.
Barry, from 48 Lower Glanmire Rd, Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court yesterday to six counts of breaching a barring order by putting the woman in fear.
Insp Foster outlined details of how the accused had been putting his former partner in fear on various dates in January of this year.
On January 5, he had followed her around various locations in Cork City causing her fear.
At one stage she went into Smyth’s toy shop and he followed her into the store.
Ten days later, he sent her 26 texts. On January 21, she was on the Douglas link road and he shouted and roared at her.
On January 23, she was going into the Aldi supermarket at Eden on Skehard Rd when he arrived, giving her the feeling that he was turning up wherever she was.
On January 26, she was walking to a bus stop on Douglas Rd when the accused contacted her by text to say one bus had passed and another was on the way, giving her the feeling that she was being watched.
Three days after that, the woman got on a bus and went upstairs hoping that the accused, who had been following her earlier, had not seen her.
However, he got on the bus, sat by her, put his hand on her leg and kissed her, Insp Foster said.
The complainant said Barry was stalking her and following her constantly and she said she was in fear.
She told Judge Olann Kelleher that Barry hid in bushes on another occasion when she was in a park.
Judge Kelleher said to the accused if someone sent him 72 texts in one day and was following him and jumping out from behind bushes he would be frightened too.
Barry said he would, in future, stay away from his ex-partner.
Michael Quinlan, solicitor, said the defendant had told him many of the texts were sent in reply to texts sent to him.
Judge Kelleher imposed a sentence of six months imprisonment but suspended the sentence on condition Barry would stay away from his former partner for two years and have no direct or indirect contact with her.
“He is not entitled to frighten the life out of this woman and chase her all over Cork,” Judge Kelleher said.
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