Woman ‘terrified’ by call from ex-partner

Ballymena Courthouse.
Ballymena Courthouse.

A court heard a woman was “terrified” when her former partner breached a Non-Molestation Order that had been taken out against him.

Michael O’Toole (42), whose address was given as Shanlea Drive in Craigyhill, Larne, had contacted the woman by phone.

At one stage, the court was told, O’Toole sounded drunk and said he was coming round to her house.

The woman told police she was “terrified” of O’Toole.

He was arrested and admitting making the calls but claimed he had called his former partner to ask her if she was ok and to arrange to pick up his passport and clothing.

The court was told the defendant said he only wanted his items back and had not intended to harass his former partner.

Defence solicitor Ciaran Shiels said his client “genuinely didn’t believe he was causing the level of distress being conveyed”.

He said O’Toole wished to apologise.

When the case was dealt with at Ballymena Magistrates Court on December 20, District Judge Nigel Broderick said: “What makes this matter serious is he is in breach of a court order and secondly it had quite a significant impact on the complainant, that is evident in her Victim Impact Statement”.

The defendant was given a four-month prison term, suspended for two years.

A two-year Restraining Order was also imposed.