Man given suspended sentence over ‘baseless’ threat to share intimate images of ex-partner

Photographs that were later proved not to exist were used in threat by man in his 30s

The woman was told by her ex-partner that he had secretly taken photographs of them together. Photograph: Adam Peck/PA

A man pretended he had secretly taken “intimate” images of his ex-partner and threatened to distribute them after their breakup, a court has heard.

The accused, who initially came to Ireland to study and then started working in Dublin, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Act.

The man, in his 30s, cannot be named to protect the identity of the complainant, who has a legal right to anonymity.

He was handed a three-month suspended sentence by Judge Fiona Brennan at Dublin District Court.


She noted that he admitted the offence, and the threat was “baseless”.

“However, the injured party was not to know that, and it must have been a matter of extreme agitation and concern for the injured party,” she said.

Detective Garda Fergus Grant told Judge Brennan that the “distressed” woman attended Store Street station in September 2023.

She reported her ex-partner for threatening that he would release images of “intimate activity” between them.

The court heard she was told he had secretly taken them.

Gardai checked the messages he sent to her and got them translated.

When they questioned the accused, he made admissions about the threats, but gardai established that they were “baseless”.

Despite the claims made in his messages, “There were no images of any nature whatsoever”.

He also admitted to breaking immigration laws by working without a permit.

Defence solicitor Brian Doherty said his client had a brief relationship with the injured party and took their breakup badly.

The solicitor said his client was very sorry and embarrassed and wished to express his regret.

The court heard he was in a difficult financial situation, as the work visa charge led to him losing his job, and he did not get social welfare.

Mr Doherty asked the judge to note that his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had no prior criminal convictions.

The three-month sentence was suspended on condition he did not reoffend in the next 12 months.

He was also fined €400 for the work visa offence.