A Tullamore man who sent obscene video footage of himself performing a sexual act to his next door neighbour, has been given a three month suspended sentence at Tullamore District Court.
Barry Daly of 71 Thornsbury Estate denied sending the message to his female neighbour via Bluetooth in the middle of the night on January 17 last. The mother of two had been asleep when her phone buzzed and she automatically hit the button.
When she woke and looked at the screen she was frightened and terrified to see images of a man naked from the waist down standing beside a bed performing a sexual act.
The message updated several times and knowing that something was ‘very, very wrong,’ and unsure if she was in danger, she contacted her husband to come home from a night out and they contacted Gardaí the following morning.
She told the court her ten year old son had earlier activated Bluetooth on her phone and stated her user name.
When Gardaí visited Mr Daly they connected to the same Bluetooth name he’d used the night before when he handed over his phone and they activated it.
Mr Daly said he’d intended to send the message to his friend, Lady Wendy J Smith who was in his bedroom with him at the time. She had a different username to the victim.
The video should have been recorded onto her phone but when he recorded it on his, he agreed to send it to her by Bluetooth. He said he’d never intended to send the images to his neighbour and he would be horrified if people considered him to be a pervert.
He was ashamed to show his face in town and shocked and embarrassed by what he’d done. He wished he could take it back. He admitted being careless and never expected that the Bluetooth coverage could pass through walls.
Mr Daly said he wasn’t aware until the next day that he had accidentally selected his neighbour’s name instead of his friend’s when he sent the message.
He had never intended for anyone to be upset or offended, and said he hadn’t told Gardaí immediately who the video was for because he didn’t want to embarrass Lady Smith.
Both gave evidence that they had been drinking and smoking products from a head shop.
Lady Smith said they had been intimate on the night and she had called him a twit when he inadvertently recorded the footage on his phone instead of hers.
The video was purely meant to be between the two of them and she was very sorry it had gone to someone else.
Judge Catherine Staines said it was undisputed that Mr Daly had to select the person he was sending the material too and it had been a very frightening experience for the victim who was ‘very anxious about these kinds of messages reaching her children’.
She jailed him for three months but suspended the sentence for a year.