An alleged Twitter troll has been served with a book of evidence and sent forward for trial accused of bombarding 98fm presenter Jeremy Dixon with threats and online abuse.
Geraldine Delahunty, 41, with an address at Convent Lawns, Kylemore Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, is alleged to have become infatuated with the broadcaster.
She appeared before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court yesterday to be served with a book of evidence. She faces a single count contrary to section 10 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act for alleged harassment of Dublin Talks co-host Jeremy Dixon from August 4, 2014, until January 16 last year.
Judge Walsh held that the case was too serious to be dealt with in the district court meaning a trial in the circuit court, which can impose lengthier sentences.
He warned the woman, who was accompanied to court by solicitor Michael Kelleher, that if she intended to use an alibi in her defence, she must notify the prosecution in 14 days.
He then told her she was being returned for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and must appear there on April 15. There was no objection to bail and legal aid was granted to Ms Delahunty who has not yet entered a plea.
In an outline of the allegations given earlier for the purpose of deciding jurisdiction, Garda Sergeant Gail Smith had told Judge Walsh it was alleged Mr Dixon was harassed via Twitter. It started with comments, some of which were “quite upsetting”, including one message that he would be killed.
It was alleged that a number of false statements were made, such as untrue claims that the broadcaster abused his wife and took drugs. The tweets could be seen by Dixon’s 15,000 Twitter followers.
It was also alleged that his home address was posted online and references made about his wife. Gda Sgt Smith had said the broadcaster tried to block the poster to prevent these tweets. However, it was alleged, “the defendant created account, after account, after account, some in the injured party’s name and his wife’s name”.
It was alleged she posted pictures of the radio presenter and his wife.
Mr Dixon, who was not present for the proceedings yesterday had told the court earlier that the tweets were relentless.
It affected his work, because a company he did business with had been contacted to wrongfully tell them not to employ him because he takes drugs. His wife was also afraid and had also received a message saying he was having an affair with a work colleague.
He claimed it placed a great strain on their lives, and his wife Sue had told the court it had made her nervous, and that when she was at home alone she had to keep all the doors locked.
The offence, at district court level, can result in a fine and a sentence of up to 12 months. But in the circuit court it can attract a sentence of up to 10 years.
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