A WOMAN appealing a conviction of harassing her ex-husband had her request for a court order to obtain copies of her own emails from Google refused at the Circuit Court in Portlaoise.
Maria Walsh, Dublin, was given two three-month sentences for harassment and assault at a previous sitting of the District Court. A further six-month sentence was suspended for three years. The complainants in the case were her ex-husband and his new wife, who were harassed via phone calls and text messages. There was also an incident of assault in a Portlaoise supermarket.
Walsh denied the charges against her, alleging that she had been having an affair with her ex-husband. At the May Circuit Court, Walsh told Judge Tony Hunt she had written a letter to her ex-husband’s wife telling her about the affair.
“It was an informative letter,” she said.
“That was good of you,” remarked Judge Hunt.
Walsh asked the judge to grant her a court order obtaining her own emails from internet provider, Google. Walsh said that her bail conditions prohibit her from getting in touch with her ex-husband, which is awkward as they have three children. She asked the judge to vary her bail.
“I have sworn an affidavit to say I emailed him to speak to our daughter,” she said.
Judge Hunt refused her request for emails, and asked State solicitor, Mr Donal Dunne to outline Walsh’s bail conditions. Mr Dunne said that Walsh had been ordered not to have any contact with the two injured parties or any of the family.
“Is that a good order?” mused the judge. “Can it be extended to people who aren’t complainants in the case?”
Judge Hunt said that if the District Court had made a bad order, the only place it can be corrected is the High Court.
“If the District Court - and I underline three times the word ‘if’ - has exceeded the order, the High Court is the place to go,” he said, putting back the case to October 16.