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'Remorseful' Man in ‘chronic cannabis state’ threated to kill mum in Whatsapp messages

Ross O’Rourke pleaded guilty to sending the WhatsApp voice messages and text messages on January 1, 2021 and April 2nd, 2021.

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WhatsApp overtook Facebook as the most popular social media platform (Nick Ansell/PA)

WhatsApp overtook Facebook as the most popular social media platform (Nick Ansell/PA)

WhatsApp overtook Facebook as the most popular social media platform (Nick Ansell/PA)

A 27-year-old man who sent messages to his mother threatening to kill her was in the throes of a “chronic cannabis state” at the time, a court has heard.

Ross O’Rourke pleaded guilty to sending the WhatsApp voice messages and text messages on January 1, 2021 and April 2nd, 2021.

The court heard his cannabis use had spiralled to such an extent that he had ended up in psychiatric care.

Detective Garda Ken McGreevy said the messages were sent when O’Rourke was in Amsterdam and at the time he was a chronic cannabis user.

The detective said O’Rourke, with an address at Castleterrace Court, Malahide, ended up in a psychiatric hospital in Holland and most of the messages were sent while he was in hospital.

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Swords District Court

Swords District Court

Swords District Court

He said O’Rourke’s mother contacted the hospital about the messages and his phone was taken off him.

The accused was subsequently repatriated by the Dutch authorities and was arrested on his return to Ireland.

The 27-year-old admitted what he had done and was very remorseful.

At the time of the incident, O’Rourke had been estranged from his family and had quite a difficult relationship with them but they have since reconciled and he is now living in Carlow with his father, Detective McGreevy said.

The defendant has no previous criminal background and is unlikely to come to the court’s attention again, he added.

Defence barrister Annette Kealy said at the time of the offence O’Rourke had gotten involved in too much cannabis and had ended up in psychiatric care in Amsterdam.

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She said his mother was with him in court and had not particularly wanted to proceed with the case as they have now reconciled and the defendant has a good relationship with both his mother and his father.

The barrister for the defendant said that the accused was admitted to hospital here in May 2021 and had engaged well with both the psychiatrists he had seen and the medication he had been prescribed.

The barrister told the court that the defendant was “extremely remorseful” for his actions and has “cut down radically” on his drug use, she said, adding he is “working towards” completely eradicating it.

Judge Dermot Dempsey adjourned the case to June 13 for the preparation of a Probation and Welfare Report for the court and said if those reports was satisfactory then he would take a “certain course."

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