Autistic woman who harassed ex-colleague’s wife gets suspended sentence

Grainne O'Toole (Pic: Herald)
Grainne O'Toole (Pic: Herald)

An autistic woman who harassed a former colleague’s wife has been given a suspended sentence after the court accepted she had ceased contacting her victim.

Grainne O’Toole (42) made over 310 abusive texts, calls and tweets to Jennifer Doran, with an average 35 calls a day during one month.

O'Toole of Willow Park Grove, Glasnevin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to harassing Ms Doran between October 1, 2011 and February 2, 2012.

In July 2013 Garda Noel Murray told the court that O’Toole had been working in Meridian VAT International in Tallaght.

Her supervisor Colm Doran had a meeting with O'Toole over personnel issues, which he regarded as favourable. However soon afterwards he started getting “inappropriate phone contact” and a number of unwanted gifts from O’Toole.

O'Toole ultimately resigned from her job, but became fixated with Mr Doran and more particularly with his wife, whom she had never met nor seen.

O'Toole, who was diagnosed with autism and obsessive persecution delusions, again tweeted about her victim in July 2014 and was remanded in custody as a result.

In October 2014 Judge Patrick McCartan granted bail and adjourned the sentence for one year to allow O'Toole to get treatment and to continue her college studies, warning that she would be sent to prison if she reoffended.

Today/yesterday Thursday, presenting a “short, sweet and positive” probation report to the court, Cathal McGreal BL said that O'Toole had come to no adverse attention in the last year and had attained a 2.1 grade in her third year in college.

Suspending a two year jail term for five years, Judge McCartan said she had “done Ms Doran a great wrong” and if there was any indication her her returning to her old set of behaviours she would be imprisoned.

Judge McCartan said he was “pleased, gratified and relieved” that O'Toole had made progress and not come to adverse attention, and wished her well in the future.