Robin Duffy was told that while he deserved to go to prison, “society would be better served’’ by strict supervision under a three-year probation order.
He was also ordered to “pay something back’’ by completing 100 hours of community service and he must give £2,000 compensation to his former partner.
The 24-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to a string of offences including harassment, making threats to kill, voyeurism and 17 counts of making indecent images of a child — all the crimes committed over a year starting in 2016.
The sentencing hearing in Craigavon was told about Duffy’s controlling behaviour and his angry reaction when his ex ended the relationship.
When she was on holiday with friends, he bombarded her with hundreds of texts and phone calls every day which were described as “vile reading’’.
He branded her a “s**t, w***e, and a child killing b*****d” — a reference to two miscarriages she had suffered and he repeatedly urged her to “kill herself”.
Distraught, she pleaded with Duffy to leave her alone, but he ignored those calls and the harassment continued. He also “threatened to kill her”, burn her clothing and damage her car.
“There are many vile messages in the traffic but the messages at 81-94 are particularly foul and invasive and they extend beyond abusing the victim to vilifying her family in vile terms,” said the judge, who revealed that when the victim was about to fly home from her holiday, Duffy told her: “Hope it crashes and you die a slow and painful death because that’s all wee w***e bag s***s like you deserve.”
The victim managed to pluck up the courage to go to the police and showed them everything.
When his devices were examined, cops uncovered indecent images and videos including those assessed at category A, the most serious.
The judge revealed that when Duffy was 12 years old, he was prosecuted and handed a three-year probation order for sexually assaulting a child under 13, an order which he breached.
Arrested and interviewed about harassing his ex, Duffy initially told cops “she had replied back’’ to what he said to her, but later accepted the messages were “vicious, vile and disgusting”. He also admitted he had also sent the victim “an intimate photograph of himself.”
A defence lawyer said Duffy had expressed his “unreserved and genuine remorse’’ for what he had done.
But the court was also told about the impact on his victim, and that “her mental health has suffered, she continues to experience intrusive recollections of the experiences that are relevant in this case; poor memory, being on edge and feeling empty.”
It was revealed Duffy is now in a new relationship and the judge ordered him to hand over her contact details to police, so they can make sure she is aware who she is going out with.
On the sentence handed down, the judge said: “If he breaches the (probation) order, he will be back before me and I can assure him, there will be no second breach because if he is back before me, I will dust off my sentencing notes and remind myself that he faces an eight-and-a-half month immediate custodial sentence.”.
Duffy was also given a five-year sexual offences prevention order and will have to sign the police sex offenders’ register for the same period.