‘I WAS love-sick when it ended,’ said a man who sent 160 messages, over a four-month period, to a girl half his age.
Sam Baneham (36) of Maradane, Cunningham Road, Dalkey, Dublin, gave a sworn undertaking at Bantry District Court that he will never contact the woman again.
The background to the case was outlined by Sgt Trish O’Sullivan, who told Judge James McNulty that the DPP had initially instructed that the case be heard in the district court.
However, gardaí were subsequently informed by the DPP that the summons – which alleged that Sam Baneham had harassed the then 18-year-old – was to be withdrawn, provided two conditions were met.
The first condition was fulfilled when the woman was given an opportunity to have her victim impact statement heard in court. The second condition was that the accused was to give an undertaking, under oath, that he would never contact the person again.Barrister Alan O’Dwyer, instructed by Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said that this course of action was permitted under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.
It had been alleged that between November 26th 2019 and January 23rd 2020 Sam Baneham harassed the teenager by sending her more than 160 messages. Mr O’Dwyer said his client was living in West Cork at the time and that these incidents marked ‘the end of a relationship.’
Judge McNulty noted that the accused had initiated ‘a large number of uninvited and unwelcome communications’, but he said he was satisfied with Baneham’s assurance that this would never happen again.