10 Aug 2022

Laois woman caused 'devastation' in harassment case

Portlaoise courthouse

A Borris in Ossory woman charged with harassment who caused “devastation” to the injured party has been told to pay €3,000 compensation.

Patricia Bergin (35), Kilmartin, Borris in Ossory, was charged with harassment, on dates between October 7 and November 7, 2017, in Borris in Ossory.
When the case first came before the court in October, Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that the accused contacted the injured party and they arranged to meet in a pub. There, the accused threatened to report the injured party’s wife to the medical board over an incident that had happened seven years earlier.
Sgt Kirby said the accused told the injured party that if he proceeded with a court case she would make the complaint. The court case went ahead and the accused subsequently made the complaint to the medical board. This complaint was found to be malicious and vexatious.
Defence, Ms Louise Troy said that the offence had grown out of a family law case which was before the court and the accused had got involved in sending text messages to the injured party.
Ms Troy said the accused was deeply apologetic.
Judge Catherine Staines put the matter back for a victim impact statement.
At last week’s court, Sgt Kirby said there was a pretty lengthy victim impact statement in court.
After reading the report in her chambers, Judge Staines said that the injured party had pleaded for privacy so she would not read out the report, but she said it was absolutely appalling what had happened and the accused had caused devastation to the family.
Judge Staines said she had to consider a ten-month prison sentence.
Ms Troy said there was a very toxic family situation and the accused should not have got involved in it.
Judge Staines directed the accused to write a letter of apology in court and the matter was put back to second calling.
When the case was recalled, the accused handed in the letter of apology.
Judge Staines then adjourned the matter to February 6, 2020, for the accused to pay €3,000 compensation.

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