A man claiming to be a whistleblower has been jailed for five years for making online postings alleging a garda was corrupt and unfaithful to his wife.
Sean Carraher, aged 55, began harassing Sergeant Conor Gilmartin because he was unhappy with the way the garda dealt with a complaint he made that his children were being physically abused.
He was convicted earlier this month of posting 58 messages on the websites Rate-Your-Solicitor and Victims of the Legal Profession, alleging, among other things, that Sgt Conor Gilmartin had withheld evidence in a previous case involving the accused. Carraher also made up to 12 harassing phone calls to Sgt Gilmartin.
Carraher, of Stradbrook Hill, Blackrock, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to harassing Sgt Gilmartin between March 2009 and May 2011. He was convicted by a jury after nearly six hours of deliberation.
He has one previous conviction from 2011 for harassing his wife.
Judge Patrick McCartan said he was imposing the five-year sentence to “send out a message to any other that thinks of spreading information that is grossly defamatory”. The maximum sentence for harassment is seven years.
He said Carraher has “all the attributes of a bully” who used “the anonymity of one-way traffic of the internet” to make the allegations of corruption despite not having “one whit” of evidence.
He said Carraher had “not spoken one word of sorry or one word of regret” since the trial began and “still carried with him the obdurate view to do what he wishes”.
He said it was “very disturbing to read” what Sgt Gilmartin was subjected to given he was a public servant and “doing no more than his duty”.
In a victim impact report, Sgt Gilmartin said Carraher’s actions were well planned to humiliate him and his family. He said his wife feared for her safety when he was out of the house.
The trial heard the phrase “Conor Gilmartin is the most corrupt garda...” was one of the first results when the garda’s name was searched for on Google. Most of the posts are still up, the court heard.
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