herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Hairdresser made 'menacing' calls to ex-partner's sister

Wayne Ashmore made a ‘gross error of judgment’, judge said
Wayne Ashmore made a ‘gross error of judgment’, judge said

A hairdresser made menacing silent phone calls to a woman after his relationship with her brother came to an acrimonious end, a court has heard.

Wayne Ashmore (32) repeatedly called the frightened mother-of-three over two days, leaving her in fear for her family's safety.

Ashmore, of Allenton Drive, Tallaght, had denied the charge.

Finding him guilty, Judge John Hughes adjourned the case for probation and restorative justice reports.

He noted that while it had been traumatic for the victim, there were no blatant threats and Ashmore made a "gross error of judgment".

The victim told Dublin District Court that the calls came from a private number on August 26 and 27, 2017.

On the first call, nobody spoke and the caller hung up after a few seconds, she said.

There were four or five more similar calls that day.

The next day, "somebody was laughing in a menacing way".

Watching

She received more than 10 calls that day, lasting on average for a minute. In some, she heard people laughing and in one, there was a woman talking, she said.

The accused did not speak on any of the calls.

"It impacted me tremendously. I was extremely frightened, I felt like someone was watching me," the victim said.

Sgt Neil Fogarty said that when questioned, Ashmore admitted he had made calls and explained his relationship with the victim's family, "various business dealings and such like".

When asked if he could "see how it all looks bad", he said "I can see what you mean by the phone calls" and "I really regret it now."

The court heard Ashmore was the former partner of the victim's brother.

That relationship ended acrimoniously and there was a civil court case over business assets that had been shared by the two men relating to a hair salon they owned.

Defence barrister Stephen Montgomery said anyone could have withheld their number.

Ashmore, who had no previous convictions, had represented Ireland at the World Hairdressing Championships.

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