herald

Friday 23 February 2018

Woman who 'chased ex down street' failed to sign her bail bond

Emma Butt allegedly accessed her ex-boyfriend’s social media accounts and contacted his family
Emma Butt allegedly accessed her ex-boyfriend’s social media accounts and contacted his family

A sound engineer accused of carrying out a campaign of harassment against her ex- boyfriend was re-arrested and taken to court in custody after failing to turn up for a previous hearing.

Emma Butt (29), who allegedly hacked into her ex's social media accounts and blogged about their break-up, appeared before Dublin District Court after gardai executed a warrant for her arrest. However, after Judge Anthony Halpin granted her bail and released her from custody, she left the courtroom without signing her bail bond.

Judge Halpin then vacated his bail ruling and instead made no order.

Chased

Ms Butt, of Riverside Grove, Coolock, was accused of harassing her ex-partner at various locations between February 1 and May 30, 2015.

Among the allegations the court heard was that she moved two doors down from the man's apartment after their split, sent him a stock photo of a positive pregnancy test and chased him down a road.

A warrant had been issued for her arrest when she failed to appear in court in September. On Wednesday, gardai took her to court in custody after executing that warrant.

Judge Halpin initially granted her bail and said he would adjourn the case to a date in January for the service of a book of evidence, pending a circuit court trial.

However, when Ms Butt's case was repeatedly called for her to sign her bail bond, she was not present. "I will have to vacate my original order and make no order," said the judge.

At an earlier hearing, another judge had refused jurisdiction to deal with the case in the district court.

On that date, Gda Mark Nolan had outlined the prosecution's case, saying Ms Butt had been in a relationship with the complainant for seven months.

After they split, the man was subjected to a large number of emails and phone calls, he said.

Horrible

The court heard Ms Butt wrote a six-part blog about their relationship, which she sent to members of the man's family and other people known to him.

It was alleged that she accessed his Twitter account and his followers were sent the blog, as were his employer and clients.

"His Facebook account was hacked, his ex-girlfriends were contacted saying how horrible he was and that he ended the relationship, she claimed, because she was pregnant," Gda Nolan alleged.

The court heard it was also alleged that Ms Butt sent a photo of a pregnancy test, which turned out to be a stock image.

At one stage, she allegedly moved into the same apartment complex, two doors down from her ex, and lived there for about three months.

She would be outside in the car park waiting for him and "he would be forced to literally run down the road while she chased him," Gda Nolan said.

It was alleged she contacted his father with claims of how badly she had been treated and this caused stress to his family.

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