'I'm going to kill you... I will ruin your life' - beautician's cruel campaign of terror
A beauty therapist subjected a neighbour to a four-month campaign of harassment, threatening to kill her and sending her flowers and sympathy cards for her dead sister on random dates out of "malice".
Mother-of-two Emma Deans (38) also left a booklet entitled 'Death - Helping Children Understand' in the victim's driveway, threw rubbish into her garden and told her: "I'm going to ruin your life."
The accused, a sister of gangland murder victim Noel Deans, was in a "dark period of her life" and suffered mental health problems since his killing, a court heard.
She was spared jail after Judge Bernadette Owens gave her a five-month suspended sentence and ordered her not to communicate with the victim for two years.
Deans, of Redmond's Court, Kilbarrack pleaded guilty to harassing and threatening to kill Denise Hynes, as well as threatening to damage her car.
Dublin District Court heard the two women lived around 100 metres apart and had been neighbours for a number of years before the harassment took place between March and July last year.
Garda Mark O'Brien said Deans "constantly" harassed Ms Hynes over the period.
She posted a sympathy card to her in relation to the death in 2016 of her sister Tracy Hynes, as well as a booklet designed to help children cope with bereavement.
The court heard Ms Hynes was living with her late sister's two children and her own mother. She was in her house on March 22, 2018 when she heard screaming outside.
She went out to see her mother being shouted at by Deans, who threw "rubbish including foodstuffs" into their garden.
Deans then lifted the capping stone from a neighbour's wall pillar in a gesture that made the victim feel threatened.
She shouted threats at Ms Hynes, saying: "I'm going to ruin your life" and that she "hadn't even started yet".
Ms Hynes called the gardai and while they were there, Deans pointed at her and said: "Once I see you, I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill you."
She also made an action "like breaking a stick in half" while saying again: "I'm going to kill you." After the gardai left, Deans returned and shouted at the victim that she knew where she worked and "I'm going to ruin your lives."
Ms Hynes told gardai that on the same date, Deans went to her workplace and started shouting lies "all over the shop that I'm pregnant by her Dad and that I molested her child".
The court heard that, on a day-to-day basis, Ms Hynes would be verbally abused, threatened and insulted by Deans who once called her a "skinny bitch".
She was living in fear as she did not know what Deans was capable of, the court heard. On June 4, 2018, Deans threatened to damage her car tyres.
There was a lull for a while, but then on July 1, Deans came over to Ms Hynes's house at night, put a collar on her dog and threw rubbish into her garden. On July 6, she had a local shop deliver flowers to Ms Hynes with a "deepest sympathy" card for the death of her sister.
This was not an anniversary, but an unconnected random date in the middle of the year.
"Ms Hynes was of the view that it was done out of malice," the garda said.
The booklet was left in the driveway of her house on July 18 and Ms Hynes took this to be relevant to her sister's death.
In her victim impact statement, Ms Hynes said she "lived in fear for her life" since the harassment started.
"I was getting told on a daily basis that I was going to get a knife in my neck," she said.
She suffered sleepless nights and had to be prescribed anti-anxiety pills because she could not relax. Ms Hynes said she had to leave her place of work because of the accused going there. "Emma has destroyed my life for months and months," she said.
Deans was going through severe mental health problems at the time; it was a "dark period in her life" and she was taking the "wrong medication", defence barrister Glen Lynch said.
She had never sought grief counselling after the murder of her brother in 2010, Mr Lynch said. Noel Deans was gunned down while walking towards a laneway in Priorswood in Coolock on January 16, 2010.
Then in 2011, she was subjected to a violent stabbing, followed by an assault in 2016 in which she suffered a head injury. Deans did have prior convictions, but they only began after 2011 as her mental health deteriorated, Mr Lynch said.
Addressing the court, Deans said she had a "bad history" with the victim, who had been in her beauty therapy class in college. The judge said Ms Hynes was not before the court regarding any claims and Deans had not apologised to her.
The offences had caused "considerable upset" to the victim, she added.
She suspended the sentence for 18 months.