Sunday 23 October 2016

Council worker admits he sent series of anti-Semitic, abusive emails to Shatter

John Dillon (pictured) sent the abusive mails to Alan Shatter
John Dillon (pictured) sent the abusive mails to Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter

A council worker has admitted sending a series of abusive, anti-Semitic emails to former Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

John Dillon (55) went "over the edge", and said Mr Shatter was a "perfidious Jew" and told him to "f*** off back to the west Bank".

Dublin District Court heard he wrote the 10 mails while going through "an episode" after a relationship break-up.

He pleaded guilty to harassing Mr Shatter over a five-week period last year. Dillon sent the mails while Mr Shatter was Minister for Justice.

Judge Anthony Halpin adjourned the case and told him he could avoid jail if he is found suitable for community service.

Dillon, of Whitethorn Gardens, Palmerstown, admitted one count of harassment.

Mr Shatter's garda statement was handed in to court by Detective Garda Ciaran O'Neill and read by the judge, along with a printout of the emails Dillon sent.

Garda O'Neill said Dillon was co-operative throughout the investigation. His barrister, Oisin Clarke, asked Judge Halpin to leave Dillon without a conviction.

He explained that the accused went "over the edge" when he wrote the emails. He had a "sterling reference" from his employers, Mr Clarke said.

Judge Halpin said the emails were "invective and obnoxious".

He said Mr Shatter, who was not in court, was "offended, insulted and deeply upset".

"I got them because I am Jewish. No matter how much of a hard neck you have, persistence of that nature is upsetting and distressing.

"I am used to getting communications like that over the years, but what was different was the persistence," his statement said.

"For any Jewish person to receive this is upsetting, when it's persistent and ongoing you don't know what the next step is going to be for this person."

Judge Halpin said he would not normally read the emails out in court but he felt the public "ought to be given a flavour" of them. The first mail, sent on March 14 last year, stated: "Resign, you Jewish, Rathgar, circumcised p****."

Another was sent two days later. "Perfidious Jew, unable to give a breath test, f*** off to Russia, you Yiddish wh**e," Judge Halpin read.

The third mail he read to the court, dated March 8, 2014 stated: "F*** off back to the west bank, Zionist a***ole."

He said it was "contemptuous" that Dillon had sought to justify what he had done by "freedom of speech".

He adjourned the case to November, recommending 100 hours' community service.

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