The case was heard before Limerick Circuit Court
A WOMAN who repeatedly called to the workplace and family home of a man she had met once seven years earlier was suffering from schizophrenia and experiencing Erotomanic delusions at the time, a court has heard.
Over a six day period last summer. the 30-year-old professed her love for the man telling members of his family and work colleagues that they were to be married.
Limerick Circuit Court was told the woman’s condition deteriorated considerably when she was remanded in custody to Limerick Prison.
Gardai had opposed bail because they feared she posed an immediate risk to the injured party and because there were no beds available at the Central Mental Hospital (CMH).
However, Brian McInerney BL said his client was subsequently admitted to the CMH and now has an insight into her condition, is on medication and is making good progress.
During a sentencing hearing, Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the injured party and the defendant presented at Henry Street garda station on August 15, 2016 at which point the man claimed he was being harassed.
Garda Colm Farrell told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, the woman was initially detained under the provisions of the Mental Health Act and a doctor called.
Later, after being informed that doctors had not identified any mental disorder, she was arrested on suspicion of harassment.
Garda Farrell said it was subsequently established the woman had called to the man’s place of employment looking for his mobile phone number and his home address.
On another occasion, while the man was working away from his office, she called to the premises carrying two cups of coffee and waited until informed he was not present.
“Security had to blacklist her,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
The defendant also made contact with a sister of the injured party on the pretence of booking dance classes with her.
In a subsequent WhatsApp message she stated: “I still love your brother”.
The court was told on another occasion, the defendant called to the family home of the injured party, entered the property and “looked around” while the occupants were at a hurling match.
The woman also sent threatening messages via Facebook to the man’s girlfriend after becoming ‘friends’ with her using a fake name.
After learning of this incident, the man made contact with the defendant and having met her in the city centre they walked to Henry Street garda station where he made a formal complaint.
While walking to the garda station, the woman tried to ‘link arms” with the man.
During interview, the woman told gardai she was in love with the man and that he loved her.
“She said the injured party was like a drug to her, she could not get enough of him,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
In mitigation, Mr McInerney said despite the initial assessment by doctors his client suffers from a significant mental illness and is a “completely different” person now that a medical regime is in place.
He said she is living with her parents in County Tipperary and that she has not had any contact with the man since her arrest.
Judge O’Donnell said the behaviour of the defendant has to be “seen “in the context of her being decidedly unwell” and he noted she has been complying with the conditions of her bail.
He said her actions had turned the victim’s life “into hell” and had caused him deep concern - both professionally and personally.
He adjourned the matter for review in twelve months time.