herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Barrister admits he did make over 120 'creepy' calls

A barrister has admitted leaving over 120 voicemail messages described as "creepy" and "sexually intimidating" on a younger colleague's mobile phone.

Paul McLoughlin (49), of North Circular Road, changed his plea to guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on the third day of his trial.

He had initially denied harassing Lorcan Staines (30) between May 1, 2006 and May 14, 2010.

Judge Patricia Ryan granted bail pending sentencing next month on condition that McLoughlin does not contact Mr Staines. She also asked for a psychiatric report.

A jury earlier heard over 60 of the voicemail messages which Mr Staines had recorded, some of which repeatedly stated: "I want you to be my boyfriend."

Mr Staines testified that listening to the messages was very upsetting and had also caused great distress to his wife.

When asked by prosecuting counsel Paul Carroll if he was worried about being watched, Mr Staines replied: "There was a message that said when I went into the bathroom I should look up and down, left and right because I was being watched."







Upset

McLoughlin also left messages saying he was in Galway -- where Mr Staines had studied -- and was walking where he had walked, and another making clear he had researched Mr Staines' date of birth.

Having listened to the messages for over two hours, Mr Staines became visibly upset, saying he felt he had been "goaded" into taking the case to court. He repeatedly said he found the behaviour "creepy" and said of one message: "I personally consider it a sexually intimidating message."

Mr Staines earlier testified that senior colleagues at the bar had warned the then 23-year-old barrister to "stay away" from McLoughlin.

In another series of messages, McLouglin repeats: "I want you to be my boyfriend", three times in one message and again in another.

Another message said: "You are not available to take my calls, but you are available to play with my emotions." The phrase "fatal attraction" appeared many times in the messages.

Mr Staines was in court yesterday to hear the changed plea but did not react.

hnews@herald.ie

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