A Lurgan man used ‘sexualised language’ in texts he sent to a woman he did not know, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.
Stephen John Creaney (45), Grattan Street, Lurgan, was given a total of seven months in custody.
He admitted that on May 20 this year he pursued a course of conduct that amounted to the harassment of a female.
The court heard that the injured party reported to police that she had been receiving unwanted calls and text messages of an explicit nature to her mobile phone.
There were two phone numbers used and they were traced to the defendant.
Creaney admitted making the calls and sending the messages claiming he was only engaging in banter.
There was no relationship between the defendant and the injured party.
Police spoke to her about a restraining order but she declined to have one imposed because there was no contact between her and Creaney.
A barrister representing Creaney said there were entries on the defendant’s record for harassment and breach of a non molestation order but they did not involve the same injured party.
He explained that his client had a long standing difficulty with alcohol. He had been sober for two weeks and was making a sustained effort to abstain from alcohol.
The barrister added that Creaney accepted this must have been very distressing for the woman involved but there had not been anything further since these incidents.
District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said that unfortunately Creaney was no stranger to the courts in a number of ways, not least in his attitude towards women.
He pointed out that the defendant breached orders, was guilty of harassment and when given the benefit of community sentences they were also breached.
Judge Bates said the ‘sexualised language’ used in the texts put the offence at the upper end of the scale and it ‘beggared belief’ Creaney could send these kind of messages to someone he did not know.
“The joke is over. Get the hint,” said the judge who added that only a custodial sentence was appropriate.
For the offence he imposed a five month term and invoked two months of a suspended sentence to run consecutively making a total of seven months overall.
Later in the court Creaney’s barrister applied for bail to appeal against the sentence and he was released on his own bail of £400 pending appeal.