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Man (38) who secretly filmed ex-partner with computer tablet avoids prison term

A man who put a tablet on his ex -partner’s kitchen computer to secretly film him for four months of harassment has been sentenced to three years suspended in prison.

Ean Kershaw (38) of Linnetsfield Walk, Blanchardstown, Dublin pleaded guilty to harassment on dates between January 1, 2021 and April 11, 2021 at Phibblestown House, Castaheany, Dublin.

Garda Jessica Maguire provided evidence that Kershaw’s former partner complained to the gardaí that he had harassed her for several months.

Kershaw told gardaí that he acted out of jealousy, curiosity and concern for his daughter, after his ex-partner started a new relationship.

Judge Martin Nolan said Kershaw “could not overcome the breakdown of the relationship” and showed an “obsessive streak”.

He imposed a three -year prison sentence today which he suspended for three years on condition that Kershaw had good manners for this time.

Judge Nolan also ruled that Kershaw should have no direct or indirect contact with his former partner at this time and throughout Kershaw’s life, unless necessary to facilitate access to their daughter.

Garda Maguire provided evidence that the complainant was in his kitchen with his new partner around 8:30 pm on April 11, 2021 when they noticed a shiny object on the counter.

The object is a computer tablet that runs a camera app and transmits footage to Kershaw. Gda Maguire said the device ran for 36 days and several recordings were saved by Kershaw.

Gda Maguire said the door to the plaintiff’s balcony was opened without his knowledge. His emails and WhatsApp were also accessed and copies of WhatsApp messages sent to Kershaw’s email address.

At one point, the complainant came out of the bathroom and found Kershaw at the window. He admitted looking at her and said he would stop.

Kershaw was arrested on April 13, 2021 and a tablet and phone were seized. Gda Maguire agreed with defense attorney Jennifer Jackson BL that his client complied with his bail conditions and made full acceptance of the gardaí.

Kershaw had no prior conviction and managed to access his daughter. A statement of the victim’s impact was handed over to the court, but was not read aloud.

Ms Jackson said Kershaw’s behavior was appalling and she apologized to her ex -husband and daughter for the trauma caused by her actions.

He said Kershaw lost his job in March 2020 at the start of the lockup, but did not tell his partner. The couple separated in July 2020 when his ex-partner became aware of the situation.

They initially had a good relationship after the separation but Kershaw’s inappropriate behavior started when he found out he was starting a new relationship.

Judge Nolan made a destruction order for any recording and told Kershaw to hand over any material to the gardaí.

The court heard that the complainant saw Kershaw when he was on his way to work several times, and saw him standing on the corners of his route.

Kershaw also approached the woman’s new partner without permission and told them not to tell him of their encounter. Garda Maguire provided evidence that Kershaw sent a message of apology to the woman’s new partner.

Kershaw admitted he listened to his ex -partner’s kitchen window three times. He told gardaí that he also accessed his laptop on three separate occasions and copied WhatsApp messages.

The court heard that he attended counseling sessions and a psychological report was submitted. Ms Jackson said Kershaw and his former partner lived nearby, but the defendant wanted to move.

Judge Nolan said Kershaw’s behavior was a suggestion of someone wanting to control his former partner.

Ms Jackson said it was not Kershaw’s initial motivation but she was worried about her daughter growing up without her father. Kershaw’s own father was abusive and left the family home when he was seven years old. Counsel said Kershaw was concerned for the child’s welfare, even if it did not justify his behavior.

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