Nuisance calls 'a prank that went too far'
A DUBLIN man who made nuisance phone calls to a social acquaintance has claimed it was a prank which went too far.
Vincent Murphy (58) was initially "playing around" when he made the late-night calls but he continued making the calls "out of habit".
Judge David McHugh fined Murphy €250 and ordered him to have no contact with the victim, Ken Bogle, for a period of five years.
The defendant, of St Killian's Avenue in Greenhills, Dublin 12, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to harassing Mr Bogle between July 2, 2013 and October 5, 2013.
Sergeant Maria Callaghan said the victim contacted gardai to complain about nuisance calls he had received from a private number.
Sgt Callaghan said Mr Bogle ignored some of the calls. He answered some of them, heard someone call his name and then hang up. The sergeant said the injured party was concerned about the calls so he gave gardai permission to examine his mobile phone records.
Sgt Callaghan said gardai investigated the calls with Mr Bogle's phone operator, and they discovered he received 82 calls from Murphy over a 15-day period in July.
The court heard that most of the calls were made between 11.30pm and 2.30am and between July 2 and July 17, 2013.
The sergeant said gardai later obtained a search warrant and searched the defendant's home.
The phone which was used to make the nuisance calls was registered to a Thomas Lyons, and when gardai spoke to Murphy, he admitted he used that name to purchase the phone.
Defence solicitor Alan Crossan said Murphy, who has never been in trouble before, made full and frank admissions to gardai.
Mr Crossan said Mr Bogle was well known to the defendant and the pair had socialised for a long number of years.
The solicitor said the calls began as a prank and as far as Murphy was concerned, Mr Bogle knew he was playing around.
Mr Crossan said Murphy now realises his behaviour got out of hand, and he continued making the calls "out of habit".
He said Murphy, who is on disability for high blood pressure, regrets that he upset the victim. Mr Crossan also said Murphy was willing to give an undertaking to have no further contact with the victim.
Judge McHugh ordered that Murphy have no contact with Mr Bogle for five years.