An obsessed straight-A student, who sent a woman a jar containing bloody animal organs during a year-long harassment campaign, has been spared a jail sentence.
Stalker, Stephen Nesbitt (21) with an address at Drumfinn Avenue, Ballyfermot, Dublin was fined €300 after he pleaded guilty to harassing the woman from January 1 until December 20, 2013.
Judge Michael Walsh also banned Nesbitt, who is currently doing a five-week computers course in Trinity College, from contacting the woman and he was warned to stay away from her west Dublin home.
Dublin District Court heard Nesbitt met the woman at a music class and he “began to think there was more to their friendship than there actually was.”
When she did not return his affections, he found out she had a boyfriend and he exacted revenge, the court heard.
Over a 12-month period, the besotted 21-year-old sent her a jar containing bloody animal organs, plastered 80 stickers on lampposts calling her a slut, sent vile messages on Facebook and threatened to place a pipe-bomb in her garden.
Garda Sergeant Gail Smith told Judge Walsh that at some stage the woman became involved in a relationship with another man and when Nesbitt found out he “became infuriated” and started scaring her by sending her pictures of himself with cuts to his arms.
“He later sent statements in relation to bringing her down to his level,” Gda Sgt Smith said. The court heard the woman “was never more than friends with the defendant” and she had to hide her relationship from him.
Nesbitt began posting comments on the woman's Facebook page; he stated he had serious feelings for her and a number of threats were made.
Gda Sgt Smith told the court it culminated with the victim finding a glass jar outside her house. “It appeared there may have been some time kind of animal organ and appeared to be blood in the jar,” she said.
Gardaí have yet to receive a certificate of analysis to say exactly what it was , the court heard.
He sent her another message that “he was in love with her and if she did not respond she would only have herself to blame.” The court heard he threatened to spray paint her name followed by the words “is a slut” but the woman indicated that she was not frightened of him. He sent her another message that he would get a baseball bat and leave a pipe-bomb in her garden.
Judge Walsh heard the 21-year-old placed 80 stickers – naming her and calling her a slut – on different lampposts in the woman's area. “And he threatened to put photos on her Facebook page and he stated she was 'c*m-wh*re' and other remarks that she was a slut,” the court heard.
He also told a counsellor that he was going to harm himself.
Gda Sgt Smith also agreed with defence solicitor Yvonne Bambury that Nesbitt has not had any contact with the woman for more than a year. Judge Walsh also heard that he had no prior criminal convictions.
The defence solicitor furnished the court with a psychiatric report and added that her client is still attending services. She asked the judge to note that Nesbitt pleaded guilty. She said he was under pressure and strain and “was having a lot of difficulties at the time”.
He met the woman at a music class and “he had thought there was more to the relationship than there was”.
She said he was got straight-As in the Leaving Certificate and went to DCU for a year to study Physics. He also switched to DIT to do science but due to mental health issues he ended up in hospital.
He is now doing a five-week computer course and hopes to get back into college full time. The defence pleaded with the judge to consider sparing Nesbitt a criminal record.
However, Judge Walsh said that was not possible as a result of the trauma suffered by the victim. Nesbitt, he said, tried to “exact some form of revenge” on the woman and her family.
He said he noted the graphic details given in evidence as well as the psychiatric report and also the fact that Nesbitt was going through some difficulties at the time.
He also said he was noting noted the 21-year-old has not come to further garda attention and has not contacted the victim in more than a year.
A conviction was recorded and the judge fined Nesbitt €300 which must be paid within four months or he will be jailed for five days in default. He was also bound over to keep the peace for 18 months with conditions that he must not contact the woman directly or indirectly and that he stay away from her family home.
Nesbitt spoke briefly to confirm he wanted the case dealt with at district court level and not before a judge and jury in the Circuit Court, and that he was pleading guilty.