Man who stalked woman avoids jail

A 22-year-old farm worker who stalked a woman avoided being sent back to jail yesterday after making contact with the married mother of four again.

At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday, the State applied that Conor Haugh’s bail be revoked and he be remanded in custody after he sent two text messages last month to the 43-year-old woman he pleaded guilty to harassing last year.

Counsel for the State, Stephen Coughlan, described Haugh sending the two texts as “a serious breach” that has given rise to “a very worrying and disturbing situation”.

In July, Haugh, of Killballyowen, Cross, on Loop Head peninsula, west Clare, pleaded guilty to harassing the woman between February of last year and January 5 this year.

In evidence in July, Garda Adrian Cosgrove said that, in one text Haugh sent to the woman last year, he wrote: “I think you’re a MILF. I saw you over the Summer with your tanned body. Very hot.”

Garda Cosgrove said the Garda probe discovered Haugh was sending texts to other women in the area and one in Kerry. Mr Coughlan said Haugh “had become obsessed with the older woman”.

Hough spent a number of months in custody on remand for the offence and was only released on bail in July pending sentence with strict conditions including that he make no contact with the victim.

However, Garda Cosgrove told the court yesterday Haugh texted the woman twice on September 10 where, in one text, he said that he fancied the woman since he was 13 and only wanted to be friends.

In the first text, Haugh told the woman: “I’m sorry. I don’t know what is up with me. Please don’t go to the Guards. I swear that I am really sorry for everything and I really regret everything.”

A second text sent later that day read: “I hope you don’t go to the Guards because I don’t want to go to prison. Please give me one more chance. I am really sorry for everything. I can’t sleep at night after all I did to you — I am so sorry. Please, I can’t go back inside again because they will kill me inside. I wasn’t able for it the last time.

“I know I deserved it after what I did to you. I have fancied you since I was 13. I know it is not your problem, but please, please give me more chance, please. I know I have caused you great disturbance. Please I just wanted to be your friend. I am so sorry for everything.

In reply to a question from Judge Gerard Keys, Garda Cosgrove said the woman did not make a formal complaint because she did not want Haugh sent back to jail.

Addressing Haugh, Judge Keys asked: “Do you realise the stupidity of your conduct?”

Haugh replied: “I do now.”

The judge added: “You are extremely lucky that the garda has been very, very fair to you and it is only what he said has persuaded me not to rule on this immediately.”

Judge Keys warned Haugh: “Do not make contact with the victim. If you breach, that will be an aggravating factor when it comes to sentence.”

Judge Keys remanded Hough on bail to re-appear before court on November 24 for sentencing.


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