violated | 

Dublin landlord who harassed former tenant to 'breaking point' finally behind bars

Thomas Armstrong created a Twitter account in the victim's name, posted photos of her and 'sold' All Ireland tickets under her number

Thomas Armstrong posted photos of Ms McAuley

Patrick O'Connell

Landlord from hell Thomas Armstrong - who subjected a tenant to a vicious campaign of harassment - is finally behind bars this weekend after handing himself over to gardai on Wednesday morning.

Mayo native Armstrong (46) was taken into the custody of Mountjoy Prison on Wednesday morning to begin a six-month jail sentence for harassing one of his former tenants 'to breaking point' after their tenancy agreement ended on poor terms.

He was initially sentenced to two years in jail with the final 16 months suspended, however two more months of the remaining eight months will be deducted in standard prison remission.

Vile Armstrong, of Addison Avenue, Glasnevin, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court earlier this month to harassment of Lorna McAuley on dates between August 2016 and August 2018.

The court heard that a dispute arose when Armstrong said he wanted to move back into the apartment and claimed Ms McAuley owed him for rent and damage. He then began "a campaign of intimidation and terror" against her.

Garda Darren Farrell told Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that the harassment took three forms, including anonymous complaints to Dublin City Council in relation to Ms McAuley's parent's roof garden.

Armstrong also created a Twitter account in Ms McAuley's name on which he posted photos of her and bogus tweets, and lastly that he advertised tickets for the 2016 All Ireland Final on Done Deal, listing Ms McAuley's phone number.

Ms McAuley took the stand to read her own victim impact statement earlier this week. She said would "never in her wildest dreams" have thought of herself as a victim before this ordeal which she said had brought her "to breaking point".

She said his behaviour had caused her "shame, stress, anxiety, terror and hurt," destroyed her peace of mind, and impacted on her physical and mental health.

"I rue the day we rented a house from him," she continued.

She explained that a dispute arose when Armstrong said he wanted to move back into the apartment and claimed she owed him for rent and damage.

She said what followed from him was "a campaign of intimidation and terror" and that she was inundated with calls and text messages.

Ms McAuley said Armstrong posted photos of her on the fake Twitter account he set up in her name and identified where she lived and worked.

"He attempted to destroy my reputation by posting outlandish remarks. I felt violated, and I am quite a private person. I found it extremely hurtful and distressing that someone could share photos of me all of which I had not consented to," Ms McAuley said.

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