NewsCrime Desk

Bingo loving stalker waged campaign of abuse against woman

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
CREEP: Anthony Ellis
CREEP: Anthony Ellis

MEET the bingo-loving stalker who waged a terrifying year-long campaign of abusive phone calls and threats against an innocent mum-of-two that has left her “a prisoner in her own home”.

Fag smoking widower Anthony Ellis (57), of St Michael’s Close in Cootehill, Co. Cavan, stalked his victim Pauline Bryans and bombarded her with upwards of 15 abusive phone calls a night.

During the calls, he threatened his victim, saying: “Take what you get from me. I have weapons behind my back, I’ll put a bullet through your window, you’re a fucking snake.

Twisted Ellis also:

  • Blackmailed her by lying that he had compromising photos and video of her.
  • Contacted her separated husband’s work and warned he would kill him.
  • Threatened her he would hang himself and would leave a note blaming her if she went to the Gardaí.
  • Warned her “I’ll shoot the hoors” if she sent gardaí to his door.
  • And told the terrified woman she has ‘cancer’ in her breast.

Incredibly, vile Ellis escaped jail when his case was heard before his local District Court earlier this month.

However, he was convicted and fined €3,500 after pleading guilty to possession of 3,282 rounds of unlicensed ammunition and with sending grossly offensive, indecent and abusive messages by phone to Pauline.

Pauline says she was shocked when Judge John Aylmer convicted Ellis, but instead of sending him to jail fined him just €1,500 on two charges of sending abusive messages and €500 on the ammunition charge.

Our man with Pauline

“I didn’t feel the court listened to me and, at the very least, I hoped he would get a suspended sentence. At least then if he came after me again he would have had that standing over him,” she said.

But the bus driver was anything but apologetic when confronted over the horrific campaign when confronted by the Sunday World.

“How much am I getting?” he demanded, when approached by our reporter.

“What’s it to do with you? Why come to my door?” he said, before walking back inside and shutting the door.

Less than 30 kilometres away in Kiltober, Newtownbutler, victim Pauline this week described herself as “a prisoner in her own home”, before outlining how a brief relationship with Ellis kindled in Clones Bingo Hall had turned her life into a living hell.

“We were friendly from the Bingo Hall. He used sit beside me and then in August 2013, after my mother died, we had very brief relationship,” a shaken Pauline told the Sunday World.

“But even when we were together he acted very strangely. He used to drive up and down past my house to see if I was home and even when I went to the likes of Lidl I’d see him parked in the car park watching me.”

As possessive Ellis’s infatuation with Pauline grew, the shaken grandmother said he began ringing her and leaving up to 20 voicemails on her phone each night when she refused to answer.

“In June 2014 I told him straight out to ‘f**k off and leave me alone’.”

Pauline says it escalated to a stage where Ellis would be waiting in the car park of the local graveyard when she went to visit her mother’s grave.

“I couldn’t go up to my mother’s grave but he’d be waiting for me outside,” she said.

“He told me my mother had spoken to him in the graveyard and told him that I was to give him another chance.  Everywhere I went he’d be watching me.”

“He said he didn’t drink, but in the voicemails he’d leave on the phone he sounded like he was stone drunk. In the messages he’d tell me where I’d been and what I’d done.”

At the District Court hearing, extracts of the messages Ellis sent to Pauline were read out.

In one, sent on June 28, 2014, he told her: “I’ll be down at two and you better be fully ready because if you don’t ring I’ll be down I tell ya. Take what you get from me – I have weapons behind my back. I’ll put a bullet through your window. You’re a f**king snake. I hope your father’s proud.”

In another, sent on July 3, 2014, he told her: “If you’re at another Sinn Fein meeting again, I’ll be at it. I’m going to put to you what Sinn Fein mean... I’ll be there and let me tell you I’ll get you scrapped.”

Dozens of messages followed before on July 3 he contacted her separated husband’s workplace warning he would kill him. On July 17 she received another message warning her he had compromising pictures and video of her.

Then, on November 10, 2014, the court heard how Ellis travelled to Pauline’s home in Fermanagh before driving around the property beeping his horn and flashing the lights.

“He’s nothing to do with Sinn Fein,” Pauline told the Sunday World.

“I’m a member of the Cumann, but he’s nothing, he’s a nobody. He is just a bully. I couldn’t describe how bad he is. Even now I have to lock all the doors and windows when I’m in the house.

“I had to put up CCTV – he’s made me a prisoner in my own home.”

Defending Ellis, Derek Kenneally SC told the court his client had a poor education and a small social circle and an undertaking was given in the court he would have no further contact with Pauline. By way of a gesture he offered €5,000 to Pauline… an offer she refused.

“You’ve no idea how terrifying putting up with this has been,” Pauline added. “He belongs behind bars. He’s a bad man… to be honest I don’t have a bad enough name that I could put on him.”