Consultancy gets injunctions against Tallaght company over alleged intimidation

The Phone Shack prevented from contacting UK-based Spear Marketing

The interim injunctions were obtained, on an ex parte basis, by Spear Marketing Limited against Tallaght-based, The Phone Shack Limited, which provides training and technology solutions, and its chief executive Thomas Dalton. Photograph: iStock

The interim injunctions were obtained, on an ex parte basis, by Spear Marketing Limited against Tallaght-based, The Phone Shack Limited, which provides training and technology solutions, and its chief executive Thomas Dalton. Photograph: iStock

 

A UK-based marketing and business consultancy has secured temporary High Court injunctions against an Irish-based company and its CEO to stop an alleged campaign of harassment and intimidation against its personnel.

The interim injunctions were obtained, on an ex parte basis, by Spear Marketing Limited against Tallaght-based, The Phone Shack Limited, which provides training and technology solutions, and its chief executive Thomas Dalton.

The order prevents the defendants contacting, harassing, intimidating or communicating directly with Spear’s employees and consultants.

The court also restrained the defendants from debiting or using Spear’s bank account details to create a debit in the defendants’ favour.

Represented by Thomas Hogan SC, Spear claims that, through a Dublin-based independent marketing consultant, it was engaged by Mr Dalton in late 2020 to build a website for Phone Shack, aimed at helping older people with technology.

However, a dispute arose between the parties, it said.

In an affidavit, Spear director Lauren Brown said Mr Dalton claims he was provided with a substandard website, has retained its data, and is seeking a ransom to return it.

She said Mr Dalton sought to be given full control of the website and a full refund.

Mr Dalton also claims that Spear is operating a scam and a fraud, she said.

All of Mr Dalton’s claims are denied and he was provided with a fully functioning website, she said.

She said, arising out of the dispute, Phone Shack and Mr Dalton have waged a campaign of intimidation, threats and harassment that has upset Spear’s employees and independent consultants.

She said, in a short period of time, he has sent hundreds of messages, texts and emails, many of a malicious nature, and has called Spear “a scam operation”.

She said he said in messages to her that Spear “had upset some very important people”, that he was “a member of Ireland’s leading political party”, she “did not know what she had gotten herself into,” and “you have no idea who you are dealing with”.

She said he also threatened to go to contacts he has in the Irish media, including RTÉ, and “tell them of his experience with Spear”.

He also claims to have made complaints about Spear to the police, she said. She said she requested the defendants to stop communicating with her, and to correspond with Spear’s solicitors.

Reputation

Ms Brown said Spear is concerned the defendants’ actions may significantly damage its reputation.

She also said, in recent days, Mr Dalton sent messages claiming Spear owed Phone Shack €10,000 for withholding its information and the continued holding of this data would incur a charge €2,000 per day.

If the information was destroyed, his message said, Spear would be charged an additional €100,000, she said.

She said it was also discovered Phone Shack had set up a direct debit from Spear’s company bank/Revolut account, and that €3,100 was to be deducted from that account.

She said no payment was authorised by Spear, and despite complaints to the Garda, she does not know how the direct debit was set up.

When the matter came before Mr Justice Tony O’Connor on Friday afternoon, the judge, on an ex-parte basis, said he was satisfied to grant the temporary injunctions against the defendants.

The judge said the court should hear from the defendants as soon as possible and adjourned the matter to early next week.