A WEST Cork man sent over 4,000 threatening, sexually-explicit and violent Twitter messages to the mother of his six children.
Some of the messages sent by Conor Monks (44), who was living at Kilscohanagh, Drimoleague, but now lives with his mother at No 7, St Canera’s Place in Bantry, threatened to mutilate and torture his former partner.
At Skibbereen Court on Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to a charge of being in breach of a barring order that was imposed at Bandon Court in December 2016 by sending the messages via Twitter between July 5th and August 4th 2017.
Gda Tim Forde, who is stationed in Drinagh, said: ‘Some of the messages were nonsense, but others contained explicit threats saying that he wanted to kill her and members of her family.
‘Some were very sexually- explicit: they said how he would mutilate and torture her.’
Solicitor Ray Hennessy confirmed that Conor Monks has attended the psychiatric unit at Bantry General Hospital, and is living on a disability allowance.
Mr Hennessy called his client to give evidence in his own defence saying: ‘There are important issues to be addressed.’
Conor Monks said he was ‘upset that I hadn’t seen my children in two years’ and that he sent the messages as a means of ‘letting off steam.’
He said he didn’t know it was a contravention of the barring order and said: ‘a lot of them were jokes.’
Judge Mary Dorgan’s response to that was an unequivocal: ‘No. No. No: the court does not view what you sent as a joke.’
The accused claimed the messages did not contain any threat ‘to harm her, or the children.’ He said: ‘That is an exaggeration.’
Without divulging the contents of the messages, Judge Dorgan handed a print-out to Mr Hennessy and said: ‘Read that.’
The accused informed the court: ‘I have never been in trouble for anything. I was not abusive. I was not thinking straight.’
Conor Monks said he would give an undertaking not to send any more messages and added: ‘I regret my actions. I really do.’
When Mr Hennessy submitted that ‘there was no injury inflicted,’ Judge Dorgan said: ‘the recipient is entitled to say how it affected her.’
The accused’s former partner was upset and could hardly speak in the witness box.
However, she did confirm that she and her family found the messages to be ‘threatening, intimidating and abusive.’
She said: ‘My family, all of my children, are very scared and none of them want to see him.’
Her claim that the accused ‘is still going crazy on the Internet’ prompted Judge Dorgan to extend the undertaking to cover all forms of social media, and not just Twitter.
The judge adjourned the case to the May 22nd sitting of Skibbereen District Court for the production of a probation report.