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bailed Man first to be charged in Galway with 'revenge porn' barred from social media

The man has been charged of sharing intimate pics of former girlfriend along with links to her Snapchat profile

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A jilted lover has been charged with harassing his former girlfriend by posting intimate photos of her online along with links to her Snapchat account.

The 26-year-old man has been barred from using all social media platforms as part of bail conditions imposed on him at Galway District Court this week.

Judge Mary Fahy also imposed restrictions, prohibiting the publication of the man’s identity in what is the first prosecution to be brought in Galway for alleged image-based abuse - more commonly referred to as “revenge porn”.

Garda Paraic Moran gave evidence of arresting and charging the man with harassing his former girlfriend on a date unknown between August 1, 2015 and July 10, 2019, contrary to Section 10 (1) and (6) of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997.

The accused made no reply when the charge was put to him, Garda Moran said.

Sergeant Cathal Rodgers, prosecuting, said the Director of Prosecutions had directed the charge could only be dealt with at District Court level if the man entered a guilty plea.

Judge Mary Fahy asked Garda Moran for an outline of the allegations made against the accused for the purpose of deciding on jurisdiction.

Garda Moran said the man had been in a relationship with the complainant and it was alleged that some time after they broke up she was contacted by a couple whom she didn’t know, inviting her to meet them.

Following this unnerving encounter with strangers, the woman discovered that photographs of her were circulating on the internet.

These photos had been sent by her to the accused when they were together. It was alleged, he said, that after the relationship ended they had been uploaded to the internet on several occasions with links to the complainant’s Snapchat account.

“That was how she was identified by strangers,” Garda Moran explained.

Judge Fahy accepted jurisdiction to have the matter heard in her court and remanded the accused on his own bail of €400 with half of that amount to be lodged in court to appear back before the court in the New Year to ascertain his attitude to the charge.

Bail was granted subject to conditions sought by Gardai that he have no contact with the complainant or any witnesses, by any means to include social media; continue to reside at his rental address in the city and notify Gardai of any change of address within 48 hours; sign on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Garda HQ in Renmore; observe a nightly curfew between 10p.m. and 6a.m.; be of good behaviour and remain of sober habits; and provide a mobile phone number to Gardai and answer his phone to them at all times.

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Judge Fahy added an additional condition prohibiting the man from accessing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok and all other social media platforms, pending completion of the case.

Hearing the accused was starting a new job next week, Judge Fahy agreed to award him free legal aid, as the charge he was facing was very serious, she said.

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