Dispute leads to ex’s personal details being uploaded to Facebook, court hears

On-going issues between a Mervue man and his former partner led a number of safety order breaches, the assault of a garda, and personal details being uploaded on to Facebook, the Galway District Court heard.

Keith Heenan (39 ) with an address at 15 McBride Avenue, Mervue, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy on Monday and pleaded guilty to a number of counts of breaching a barring order on October 27, 2011, March 14, 2012, June 19, 2012, July 17, 2012, and August 1, 2012. He also pleaded guilty to criminal damage and entering a building at Castan, Doughiska, on October 1, 2011, with intent to commit an offence, tresspass at the same location on September 9, 2011, criminal damage and assault at Lidl, Doughiska, on March 14, 2012, and criminal damage and assault at 15 McBride Avenue, on July 17 last.

Referring to the most recent charges Inspector Ernie Whyte told the court that on July 17, 2012, the defendant’s former partner, who had a safety order in place, had been assaulted when she called to Heenan’s house. When Garda Cormac McAvock arrived at the house to take a statement Heenan became “extremely aggressive”, telling the garda that he had “no right to be in the house”, and that he “flew into a rage”. When informed that he was under arrest Heenan then punched the garda in the chest, breaking a phone. Garda McAvock was forced to use pepper spray in order to subdue Heenan and carry out the arrest.

On August 9, the former partner had contacted gardai and made a statement that on August 1 Heenan had uploaded her photo and personal details, including her address and where she socialises, on to his Facebook page and posted that if anyone saw her they should contact him. Inspector Whyte added that his was in breach of a safety order and that when questioned Heenan, who has no previous convictions, admitted uploading the data.

Defence solicitor Adrian MacLynn explained that the injured party had arrived at his client’s address, despite there being a safety order in place, to serve a civil summons for a family law matter. “My client over reacted,” said Mr MacLynn, to which Judge Fahy replied: “His behaviour was reprehensible. This thing of going on social media is endangering her.”

Mr MacLynn further explained that Heenan had said on the Facebook post that “he didn’t want anyone to be nasty to her”.

“I did that in a moment of complete frustration. I wanted to lash out in some form,” said Heenan, before adding that the details had been on the social media site for five to six hours and that there were family law matters involved.

Speaking to the injured party Judge Fahy said: “You’re supposed to be afraid of him. I don’t think you’re afraid of him at all, I think you are both just fighting.” The injured party said that the summons had been sent by registered post but was ignored and so she had been advised to deliver it in person.

“This lady made it clear from day one that the relationship is over, he has to get over it,” said Judge Fahy, to which Heenan replied: “All I want is to get on with my life.”

Garda McAvock then said that Heenan had been very apologetic for what happened but that €190 worth of damage had been caused to the garda’s phone. Heenan then handed over €200 compensation to the court and the Probation Act Section 1(1 ) was applied in relation to the criminal damage.

In relation to another criminal damage offence in which a key was broken in the ignition of a car Heenan was ordered to pay €350 and the Probation Act Section 1(1 ) could also be applied. He was further convicted and fined €750 with six months to pay.

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