Teacher at Dublin school harassed student with violent messages
A music teacher avoided a jail sentence after harassing a former student by sending her insulting letters and text messages over a 16-month period.
Sean Creed (39), who taught at Malahide School of Music, admitted purchasing phones for the purpose of sending text messages which were described as "vile and abusive, full of foul language" to the teenager to make her feel "the way he felt".
He has been given a four-month sentence, which has been suspended for 12 months, and has been ordered to have no contact with the victim and her family for five years.
Creed, of Seapark in Malahide, Co Dublin, has also been ordered to continue to engage with mental health services.
The teenager started to received the letters by post and text messages on her mobile phone in February 2014 after finishing up lessons with him.
Garda Des Martin told the court Creed was also on the same train carriage as the teenager on another occasion, followed her from the station and "stared forcefully" at her while she waited for her mother to collect her.
The teenager had received another letter in February 2015 which she did not open but handed to gardaí.
The letter read: "Don't bother studying for your Leaving Certificate. You won't be around for it. It's a waste of time. Welcome to your nightmare."
Creed had pleaded guilty to harassing the teenager on various dates between February 2014 and June 2015.
At a previous court hearing, Judge Grainne O'Neill was told Creed had €15,000 in compensation to give to his victim.
However, when the case was finalised at Blanchardstown District Court, Creed's barrister said the money "is not available".
"He went to Bank of Ireland last week but could not secure a loan for €10,000," the barrister told Judge O'Neill.
She said, however, he did have €6,000 in court with him. But the victim refused to accept the money.
Speaking on behalf of the victim, the State solicitor said: "She feels there was no reality to the money. She has been in court three times in relation to the compensation and is anxious it is finalised today. She has no interest in the €6,000."
At a previous court sitting, Creed admitted his behaviour was "despicable" and apologised profusely to the teenager.
In a victim impact statement, which the teenager read out at a previous court date, she said she was horrified and very distressed.
"I felt very vulnerable and I was terrified to leave my house. Nothing was made easy by him. The messages were threatening in nature. He was saying he was coming to get me," she said.
Judge O'Neill said she did not believe the Probation Act encompassed the offence and that his offending warranted the four-month suspended sentence.