herald

Thursday 17 January 2019

Jilted ex painted word 'slut' on wrong house

jail: Innocent neighbour suffered five attacks on her home

A JILTED boyfriend has been jailed for 10 months for painting the words "slut, whore, c***" on the house of a total stranger.

The decorator thought he was defacing the home of his ex-girlfriend.

Michael Kelly (24), of Auburn Avenue, Mullingar was sentenced to 10 months in jail yesterday for the series of graffiti attacks.

He painted the disgusting slurs on the walls of a house in Mullingar's Beechfield estate during the summer. But the house was not that of his intended target.

Instead, innocent Mary McWeeney -- who has no connection to either Kelly or his former girlfriend -- was left to clean up the paintwork.

Over eight weeks between June and August, Kelly mistakenly targeted Ms McWeeney's home five times, slashing car tyres, breaking car windows, pouring red paint all over the car and throwing a rock through her window.



obnoxious

He also wrote the words, described by Judge Seamus Hughes at Mullingar District Court as "obscene and obnoxious", across her house, garage and driveway in red paint.

Kelly's ex-girlfriend, who wasn't named in court, knew nothing of the damage, Kelly said.

Ms McWeeney was invited to attend the court hearing by Judge Seamus Hughes who said he couldn't imagine what it must have been like for her to wake up each morning to the damage created by Kelly, which cost €3,500 to repair.

"Some of her neighbours may have been under the mistaken impression that the daubing of obnoxious terms may have had some basis in credibility," he said.

Ms McWeeney she said she remains terrified and still can't sleep at night in the home she shares with her 19-year-old son.

She said it will take time to get over the shame of "all that stuff he wrote" and she still feels angry and upset.

"Sometimes neighbours can be cruel in the chatter that would take place behind your back," Judge Hughes told Ms McWeeney.

Solicitor Louis Kiernan said that Kellly's break-up led his client back to an alcohol addiction he had previously recovered from.

A former painter and decorator who hasn't worked in two years, Kelly committed the "payback" offences when his mind was "addled" by a cocktail of alcohol and valium, Mr Kiernan said.

He said Kelly wanted to apologise profusely to Ms McWeeney who was "completely and utterly blameless".

Kelly is attending Alcoholics Anonymous.

Describing the offences as "a terrible, terrible case," Judge Hughes imposed a 10-month concurrent sentence on each of the five charges when Kelly was unable to offer his victim compensation.

The "serious acts of vandalism" also led to the judge activating an 11-month suspended sentence for drugs offences, bringing Kelly's total time behind bars to 21 months.

hnews@herald.ie

Promoted articles

Entertainment News