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Nurse escapes jail over wave of 'sinister' texts

A NURSE who harassed a businessman with "sinister" text messages has avoided jail after a judge said he was loath to revoke bail as the incident was "not a matter of life and death".

Judge John Coughlan said he accepted the victim was "inconvenienced" by receiving the text messages and phone calls from Elizabeth Tamayo (50) but he would "not put her in jail because it inconvenienced the victim".

The State solicitor said the harassment was having a "huge effect" on businessman Thomas Cullen.

Dublin District Court heard that Tamayo had continued to call and send the victim text messages, despite swearing before a judge that she would leave the man alone.

In his evidence, Mr Cullen had said: "I don't know what way to describe it, it's tortuous, intolerable."

The pair met nearly five years ago when Tamayo completed a course given by Mr Cullen, who lectures in business training and management development.

Tamayo, of Lohunda Road, Clonsilla, was convicted in February of harassing Mr Cullen on dates between August 2006 and May 2009 after a contested hearing.

At that time, she was granted bail pending sentencing but she went on to send him another 590 text messages in July alone.

She had her bail revoked at the Dublin District Court but it was reinstated two weeks ago when she gave a sworn undertaking not to contact Mr Cullen again.

Sinister

However, Mr Cullen told the court that since Tamayo had given that undertaking she had contacted him 89 times. Between August 6 and August 13 he received 38 phone calls and 51 text messages, he said.

Some, of a "sinister nature", had stated "you are crying for your death", "a smile on the curse of your hands to masturbate" and "wish you to your death, it's a perfect combination".

He said the texting went on 24 hours a day and in the week since August 13 he had received 28 unwanted texts and 40 phone calls.

The judge asked Tamayo to give a sworn undertaking not to contact Mr Cullen again. She also said that she was willing to attend a psychologist.

Judge Coughlan remanded Tamayo on continuing bail to September for sentencing.

hnews@herald.ie