A 24-year-old Dublin man accused of witness intimidation and harassing a mother of three allegedly filmed her house in the middle of the night and threatened to melt her face with acid, a court has heard.
Call-centre worker Jack Cleary, of The Green, Beaumont, faces trial accused of threatening to kill or cause serious harm to the woman, harassing her and witness intimidation.
Charges were brought following directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
He appeared before Judge Dermot Simms at Dublin District Court on Saturday.
Bail was set in his own bond of €500 and an independent surety in the sum of €2,500 has to be approved before he can be released.
Detective Garda Kevin Bambrick told the court the accused made no reply to the charges following his arrest at Mountjoy Garda station by arrangement on Saturday morning.
The DPP has directed trial on indictment in the Circuit Court, he said.
He objected to bail.
The accused and the woman had known each other since August last year but their relationship deteriorated, the court was told. She noticed he had taken screenshot pictures from her social media, and she called him first.
It was alleged on July 15 last, he called her and threatened to throw acid in her face and petrol bomb her home in central Dublin.
He allegedly told the woman: “You’ll look like some thick walking around with your ear on your forehead like a mutant.” She was at home with her children at the time.
It was alleged he went to her home at about 5am and began photographing it, and he later sent her a video of her house.
His home was searched by gardaí three days later and phones were seized.
It was alleged he had searched on Google for sulphuric acid and GPS tracking, as well as facilities where she worked. The internet searches were done 22 hours after the alleged threat, Detective Garda Bambrick said.
The accused was arrested and brought to Mountjoy Garda station and then released pending a file to the DPP. Mr Cleary had been cautioned that it was an offence to intimidate a witness during an on-going investigation, Judge Simms was told.
Detective Garda Bambrick said on October 10 last the woman received a message from him via Facebook in which he allegedly called her a “rat”.
The woman gave evidence and claimed the threats made her feel sick and her children had to stay at another house.
Defence counsel Morgan Shelley said his client denied the charges and maintained he had been threatened with murder during a conversation with the complainant.
She denied threatening him.
Mr Shelley pleaded for bail.
He said the man was in a stable relationship with his partner, he lived with his family and he has a good work history. If bail were denied he could remain in custody until his trial which may not be heard before 2022.
He had met gardaí by arrangement and co-operated; he would also abide by conditions, counsel submitted.
Judge Simms set bail but due to the seriousness of the case and some indication of alleged obsessive behaviour, he required an independent surety to be approved.
Once bail is taken up he must stay out of parts of central Dublin, obey a curfew at his home, be contactable on mobile phone, sign on three days a week at his local Garda station, and have no contact with the woman.
He was remanded in custody with consent to bail to appear at Cloverhill District Court on December 11. A book of evidence has to be completed by the prosecution.
Legal aid was granted.