Text message caused ‘fear and distress’ court is told

A Moneymore man who sent a text message to another man causing him “fear and distress”, was fined £150 at Dungannon Magistrates Court on Friday (August 12) for improper use of an electronic communications network.

Anthony John Hunter (41), of Gallion Drive, was also fined £100 with a £15 offender levy for criminal damage.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan put in place a one-year restraining order preventing contact between the parties.

Mr Ranaghan described them as “very signficiant offences” which appeared to have arisen from a dispute or relationship between the defendant and the injured party or his sister.

Dungannon Courthouse

The judge remarked that one of the messages sent to the injured part was: “dead man walking tick tock.”

Prosecuting counsel explained the victim reported the message to the police on November 14 last, as they had caused him distress.

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She said he had a fall out with the defendant and that his back door window had been damaged, garden bench smashed and bird table damaged.

A defence lawyer explained Hunter is a father of two children with previous mental health issues and was under influence of alcohol at the time the offences were committed.

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She said the complainant had sexually assaulted the defendant and this was his motivate for damaging his property. She added Hunter has no criminal record and it was unlike him to get into trouble with the police.