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No jail for woman who harassed man and his family for five years

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Roxana Dufficy of Swords received a suspended prison sentence

Roxana Dufficy of Swords received a suspended prison sentence

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Roxana Dufficy of Swords received a suspended prison sentence

A woman who threatened to send "compromising" photos of a man to his friends and family and refused to stop contacting him for five years has been banned from contacting him for life.

Roxana Dufficy (32) messaged several of the victim's family members, claiming he was not the father of his girlfriend's unborn child - even though his girlfriend was not pregnant at the time.

A number of Facebook and LinkedIn accounts in the man's name were opened that generally showed him topless.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Dufficy would ring the man's work looking for him "almost constantly" and that she sent multiple letters to his mother's home during the period of harassment.

Dufficy of Holywell Meadows, Swords, Dublin, pleaded guilty to harassment between October 1, 2013, and June 12, 2018.

She has two previous convictions, both for theft.

The court was told the pair met on a dating website and after two weeks exchanged phone numbers.

After four weeks of messaging, the man received "an unusual exchange" from an anonymous person on the dating website. As a result he told Dufficy that he no longer wished to be in contact with her.

Dufficy responded by saying that it would be "embarrassing" for him if his family, friends and work colleagues saw some of the message or pictures he had sent her.

These included photos he had taken of himself "in compromising positions", the court heard.

The victim "panicked" and continued to communicate with her while trying several times to distance himself. On these occasions Dufficy would threaten to release the material or to ring his parents' home.

The harassment continued over the following years and included "almost constant" calls to his place of work.

He received continuous messages on various social media platforms and letters were sent to his mother's home.

Dufficy was arrested in June 2018. She made admissions to most of the harassment and admitted she was aware that the man did not want her to contact him, the court heard.

Garda Joe O'Connor said Dufficy appeared to believe she was in a closer relationship with the man than was the case.

Dufficy believed the man did not want her to contact him because he was angry about something that had happened, the officer said.

The court heard Dufficy has not contacted the man since the date of her arrest.

Mark Lynam, defending, said his client's mother died when she was young and her mental health was "very poor" by the time of 2013 and 2014.

He said she wishes to travel to Australia as she has a partner there.

Judge Martin Nolan said that Dufficy "made life miserable for this man".

Banning

He noted she had no relevant record of conviction, that she had expressed remorse and that she had pleaded guilty.

Judge Nolan sentenced Dufficy to two-and-a-half years imprisonment but suspended all the sentence on condition she keep the peace and be of good behaviour for two-and-a-half years.

He also made an order banning her from ever contacting the man, any member of his extended family or any person she knew to be his friend.

The judge said if she breached this order she would be brought back to court and prosecuted.