Model given lifetime ban from contacting chef Dylan McGrath

Daphney Sanasie admitting harassing Masterchef judge spared criminal conviciton

Daphney Sanasie,  Jamestown Road in Dublin 8, has been given a lifetime ban from contacting Dylan McGrath. Photograph: Collins Courts

Daphney Sanasie, Jamestown Road in Dublin 8, has been given a lifetime ban from contacting Dylan McGrath. Photograph: Collins Courts


A model who admitted harassing celebrity chef Dylan McGrath has been given a lifetime ban from contacting him.

RTÉ First Dates participant Daphney Sanasie (26) kept pestering the Belfast-born Masterchef judge after they had gone on two dates in early 2015, Dublin District Court had heard.

She bombarded the chef with nuisance phone calls and disturbing messages including texts about “demons and souls” because she thought it was funny, the court was told.

The model and student from South Africa, who has an address at Jamestown Road, in Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to harassing Dylan McGrath (39) from September 9th until November 21st 2015.

The offence can carry a 12-month jail term but Judge Michael Walsh held on Friday that it it did not reach the threshold for imposing a criminal conviction but he imposed an indefinite ban on her contacting him directly or indirectly and ordered her to stay away from his place or residence, restaurants and places of business.

He found McGrath had given her mixed signals and at one point in a message to Sanasie he was “impolite to say the least”.

Ms Sanasie, dressed in a green jump suit, black high heels and holding a Yves Saint Laurent handbag did not address the court but told reporters after the hearing that she was thankful to her fans for their messages of support and she had no hard feelings for Mr McGrath.

She said she was glad the case was over and it arose out of a misunderstanding.

She had entered a guilty plea last month and the case was adjourned until Friday when Judge Walsh finalised the case. Sanaise switched to her third set of lawyers just as the hearing began.

The court had heard earlier that Mr McGrath felt threatened and in fear and that “her behaviour was not normal” but she confessed to gardai that she did it to annoy him and she just thought it was funny.

Judge Walsh saidon Friday that after careful consideration the evidence and the log of messages he found that in the messages up until September 9th there was nothing of any significance in them that could be humiliating, intimidating and abusive or designed to wear Mr McGrath down or cause him stress.

Sometimes, he said, there were mixed messages and signals coming from McGrath such as : “What’s wrong darling? I’m having dinner at a conference in Spain” or “I love that coat from your photo” and “I feel like that” and the meaning behind that was difficult decipher.

However, after September 9th, 2015 their relationship took a nasty turn and things became somewhat strained.

He accepted she was hurt and upset and he added that it was suffice to say the narrative of one of Dylan McGrath’s messages would be unacceptable in most people’s eyes and “was impolite to say the least”.

He noted that some civility was restored at one stage when he text her to say “Forgive you, I do”.

However, he also noted that on one occasion after he had asked her to stop, there were 45 messages from her on the same date.

In assessing the gravity of the offence, he accepted defence counsel Gareth Robinson’s submission that the messages were sent at times when she was under the influence of alcohol.

Dylan McGrath was not present for the hearing but last month when she pleaded guilty he had come to court and later told reporters “I’m glad it’s over”.