One thousand ‘missed calls’ along with a thousand emails were directed to a woman by her ex-boyfriend, long after the relationship had ended.
A sentencing judge yesterday said an alarming feature of the harassment was the man turned up in the woman’s apartment when she was not home.
Ali Arafa, an Egyptian national, pleaded guilty to harassment of the young Cork woman by persistent phone calls and threats.
Detective Garda Eamon Feehan said the calls became so persistent that when the woman was making a complaint in Togher Garda Station, two calls came through to her from the accused.
The officer said he took one of the calls, introduced himself as a member of An Garda Síochána and told the accused to desist in making such phone calls to the complainant.
The accused would not believe him, even after the detective advised him to contact him through the Garda station’s landline. Arafa even said to the detective: “Tell the bitch I will smash her face.”
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a three-year jail term on the accused, backdated to August as he has been in custody since then. The last two years were suspended on condition that he would stay away from the complainant and have no contact with her.
“This is an alarming case, the length of time over which the harassment took place, the nature of the harassment and the repeated continuous nature of the phone calls.
“What takes it on to a different level is his entering or being at her apartment (months after the relationship had ended) that is a serious escalation in the harassment. Also what is worrying me is his reaction to the guard which was alarming, saying, ‘tell the bitch I will smash her face’. They are worrying aspects,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said. He said the defendant’s insight into his offending behaviour was very limited.
The accused spoke in English to apologise to the complainant and stated that he would stay away from her.