A council worker has admitted sending former justice minister Alan Shatter a litany of vile, anti-Semitic emails.
Dublin District Court heard Mr Shatter was left distressed and did not know what would happen next after he got persistent emails calling him a “perfidious Jew” and “Yiddish whore”.
The sender was John Dillon, aged 55, with an address at Whitethorn Gardens, Palmerstown, Dublin, who was suffering from depression, “went over the edge”, and began to act “quite manic” after a long-term relationship ended, Judge Anthony Halpin heard.
He pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court yesterday to harassment of Mr Shatter from February until April 8, 2014; the charge is under section 10 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act. His case was adjourned until November for a probation report on his suitability to carry out 100 hours community service in lieu of a six-month jail sentence.
Detective Ciaran O’Neill told Judge Halpin that
Dillon sent 10 emails over a five-week period to Mr Shatter’s email address when he was still a minister.
Mr Shatter’s statement to gardaí and print-outs of the offensive emails were handed in to Judge Halpin. Det Garda O’Neill said the material he furnished gave “the level of the content of the emails that were sent”.
Judge Halpin read out extracts from some of them. An email on March 3, 2014, stated: “Resign you Jewish, Rathgar, circumcised prick”.
One on March 13 read: “Perfidious Jew unable to give a breath test, fuck off back to Russia you Yiddish whore”.
An email on April 8 stated: “Fuck off back to the West Bank Zionist asshole”.
Dillon told investigating gardaí that he was exercising his right to free speech and cited Bunreacht na hÉireann and European law. He told investigators it was a “political matter” but Det Garda O’Neill told the judge, “I think his position has changed since.”
Pleading for leniency, Oisin Clarke, defending, said that in 2008 Dillon was put on medication to treat depression and he had to take six months off work.
Around the time he sent the emails a 10-year relationship had just come to an end and this was the “catalyst that put him over the edge”. It was also the anniversary of his father’s death.
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