Accused of harrassing his ex over Facebook

Court
Court

A Craigavon man accused of harassing his ex-partner via Facebook messages has been banned from using a mobile phone or any other electronic device that has internet access.

That was just one of several conditions imposed at Belfast’s High Court today (Friday) by Mr Justice Horner, who told 29-year old Conor Grimley “I am prepared to take a chance and grant you bail.”

Grimley, from Drumbeg, is accused of harassing his ex-partner over a period from July 11 to 16 this year - a charge which he denies.

Prior to Mr Justice Horner granting bail, a Crown prosecutor said police were objecting to Grimley’s release due to a number of concerns including a risk of interferring with his ex, and of committing further offences.

The prosecutor said it was the Crown’s case that Grimley harassed his ex over a week-long period in a series of “domestic incidents.” The first incident, he said, occurred on July 11 when the complainant alleged that Grimley had assaulted both her and one of her children.

Grimley was arrested. interviewed and bailed, with a condition imposed to have no contact with his ex. She claimed that the following day she received a message via Facebook from Grimley saying he was sorry and asking her for money.

She also claimed he sent a second Facebook message to her in which he again apologised and also said she needed to accept some of the blame for what happened during the incident on July 11.

The prosecutor said that after receiving the two messages, she contacted the PSNI. Grimley was questioned by police and given a PIN notice.

Grimley is accused of then asking a friend of his to send the woman a Facebook message, followed by an alleged incident on July 14 whereby he went to his ex’s house, wrapped her door and shouted abuse to her. This led to Grimley being arrested again.

Objecting to his release on bail, a prosecutor said Grimley “ignored police bail conditions and the terms of the PIN notification”, adding the woman would be at risk if he was released.

A barrister acting on behalf of Grimley revealed that all the elements of the harassment charge were being denied by his client.

The barrister said that on the day the woman claimed Grimley was at her door, he said he was at home with his mother, and that she would be prepared to provide an alibi statement.

Revealing that Grimley and the complainant were in a relationship “for quite some time”, the barrister spoke of his client’s “limited” criminal record and said he was “not a man who has shown a willingness to engage in criminal behaviour.”

Reiterating Grimley’s denials, the barrister said that the period of time Grimley has spent in custody has been a “salutory lesson” for him.

Mr Justice Horner agreed to release Grimley to live at an address in Portadown. He was also banned from using a mobile phone or other electronic device that has internet access, banned from entering the Drumbeg and Meadowbrook estates in Craigavon, and also banned from contacting his ex either directly or indirectly.

Telling Grimley to abide by the conditions imposed, Mr Justice Horner warned that any breach would result in a return to prison.