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.
Sean 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 handed down a three -year prison sentence on Thursday which he suspended for three years on condition that Kershaw had good manners for this period.
The judge also ruled that Kershaw had no direct or indirect contact with his ex-spouse at this time and throughout Kershaw’s life, except as 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 was a tablet computer running a camera app and passing 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.
At first they had a good relationship after the separation, however, Kershaw’s inappropriate behavior began when he found out he was starting a new relationship.
The judge made a destruction order for any recordings and told Kershaw to hand over any other material to the gardaí.