A Dublin man who stalked a woman and later talked about raping her son has been jailed for three and a half years.
Mark Mulligan, 39, told gardaí he had developed a fantasy world because he was lonely, and that this led to online conversations in which he discussed raping and torturing children.
Mulligan, of Railway Rd, Clongriffin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to harassment of a woman in Dublin between 2008 and 2012. He also admitted possessing child pornography at his home on July 7, 2013.
He pleaded not guilty to a third charge of producing child pornography at his home on dates between March 1 and March 17, 2013. Last month, a jury took 44 minutes to find him unanimously guilty.
Judge Patricia Ryan said the harassment had taken place over a considerable period of time and had involved texts and emails late at night. She suspended the last year of a four-and-a- half-year prison sentence.
She ordered Mulligan to stay away from the victim, her extended family, and friends for 30 years and not to have any contact with her by text, email, phone, or any measure.
The judge ordered Mulligan to comply with probation services for 18 months after release, and engage with rehabilitation or treatment as directed.
Mulligan took part in text conversations on the internet programme Skype in which Mulligan made sexually explicit references to RTÉ and TV3 reporters and “celebrities” and their children. Gardaí discovered transcripts of these ‘chats’ during a search of Mulligan’s home as part of a separate investigation into the harassment case.
In that case, Mulligan sent a former colleague a threatening text message and an image of a dismembered doll as part of his “rape fantasy”. Last July, he received a prison sentence of four years, with one suspended, for harassing and threatening to kill that victim on dates between August 2012 and July 2013.
Mulligan’s barrister described his client’s online conversation as a “disgusting fantasy conversation”. Mulligan had said he would “love to rape” the three-year-old son of a woman he knew because she had “pissed him off”.
When the other man said: “Let’s snatch him,” Mulligan replied: “Mmmm make him watch us kill his mum and dad and then kill him.”
He later told gardaí the conversations were all just “sick fantasies” and he never intended to act on them.
The victim had complained to gardaí in 2008 about Mulligan’s continued harassment of her via text messages and emails, prior to the Skype conversations.
Gardaí told the woman there was little they could do at that point but advised her to keep a note of Mulligan’s actions. Mulligan had taken the image of her child from her personal social networking account.
In a victim impact report, the woman said she was deeply upset and traumatised by Mulligan’s harassment and had to move house.
Garnet Orange SC, defending, said his client had engaged in ongoing and deeply unpleasant stalking of the victim but has since expressed remorse and regret.