Man avoids jail for ‘rampage’ on seeing girlfriend’s texts

Man's 'heart was broken' after reading ‘graphic’ messages, court hears

A man has avoided jail after smashing up a house on seeing ‘graphic’  messages his girlfriend was sending another man. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A man has avoided jail after smashing up a house on seeing ‘graphic’ messages his girlfriend was sending another man. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

A man has avoided jail for going “on a rampage” and smashing up his house after seeing “very graphic” text messages his girlfriend was sending to another man.

Stephen Kiely (45), of Thomastown, Enfield, Co Meath, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to criminal damage at the house he shared with his girlfriend in Oldbridge Park, Lucan, Co Dublin on June 9th, 2013.

Garda Gerard Reynolds said Kiely got in an argument with his girlfriend at a birthday party in their house when he saw her texting a man she had met a week earlier.

Kiely later demanded to see the messages but the woman tried to flush the phone down the toilet. Kiely retrieved the phone and saw what the defence described as “very graphic confirmation” that she was having an affair with the other man.

Kiely then ran outside and smashed the phone off the ground, before returning to the house to break two televisions, a microwave, a bathtub, shower doors, a chest of drawers, mirrors, bannisters and the legs of two dining room chairs.

He also slashed two couches and cut the cables from a barbecue, a hair straightener and the hoover.

‘Heart was broken’

Lorcan Staines BL, defending, said Kiely’s “heart was broken in two” when he saw the messages. He said Kiely had recently been prescribed Prozac and was “in despair” as his girlfriend had told him he had been impossible to live with.

Mr Staines said: “What he saw would have offered very graphic confirmation of a relationship. He went on a rampage of sorts throughout the house. He was enraged, humiliated, in despair and angry.”

Mr Staines disputed the injured party’s valuation of the items at €16,000 and said that Kiely had done his best to get €5,000 together, as he is currently unemployed.

Judge Martin Nolan ordered Kiely to pay the €5,000 to the injured party and imposed a two-year suspended sentence.