A woman who campaigned to harass a former Sinn Féin TD by sending more than 5,500 phone calls and text messages in six months and sending a picture of a mouse when complaining to Gardai. , Has been imprisoned for 2 years.
The Cork Circuit Criminal Court has heard that Sonya Egan, 42, of The Lawn, Lios Cara, Killeens, and CoCork, sent thousands of emails to former Cork North-Central TD Jonathan O’Brien. After she sent him a picture of a mouse, she posted on social media: “You don’t rat a Republican.”
She also sent a message to local community activist and businessman Laura O’Connell, pretending to be a barrister when she first met her. Eagan wore robes and claimed she came from the family court when they were preparing to meet over a cup of coffee.
Sergeant John Shihee told the court in May that Egan conducted an abuse campaign against Ms. O’Brien and Ms. O’Brien between 2018 and 2019.
O’Brien first noticed Sonya Egan in April / May 2017. So she approached him as a TD for advice. Later, she became a member of the Sinn Féin party, and in December 2018 she began sending him suggestive comments that made him uneasy.
Eagan claimed that she had feelings beyond friendship with him. O’Brien was not interested in any kind of relationship with the defendant.
Sgt Sheehy said O’Brien then began receiving numerous messages, texts and emails from fake accounts from Eagan.
“He started receiving emails from fake accounts, one of which claimed to be Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labor Party, and her. [Egan’s] Father. “
Egan then sent an email to the Sinn Féin party, claiming that he was being bullied by Jonathan O’Brien. Her allegations against O’Brien and O’Connell were not true.
Sgt Sheehy said Egan wrote in an email that he “betrayed her confidence” regarding the disclosure O’Brien made to him.
“Many times she claimed that he had driven her to suicide and she was trying to do it. While this was happening, she sent him an email. [O’Brien] To tell him that she loves him, and that if he succumbs to his feelings for her, she will withdraw his allegations against him. “
She publicly claimed on Facebook that she had overdose many times, which was O’Brien’s fault.
Sgt Sheehy once said Egan emailed O’Brien that his late mother had fallen out of the hospital bed.
“Sonya noticed that her late mother had fallen out of bed and claimed that a friend of the hospital had told her. Hospital staff confirmed that her mother had fallen out of bed, but she said. It has not yet been confirmed how this information was obtained. “
The court heard that Eagan repeatedly sent him pictures of Mr. O’Brien’s deceased father. She went to her daughter’s office and went to the birth, death, and marriage offices to find out the date of O’Brien’s father’s death.
Judge Shehe told Judge Helen Boyle that three unemployed married mothers, Egan, had launched a serious and long-term abuse campaign against O’Brien and O’Connell.
“He (O’Brien) believes Sonya Eagan contacted him using more than 20 different Facebook profiles. She sent (to O’Brien) 100 texts for a few days. She appeared at the Leinster House requesting to talk to him. “
Disciplinary action was taken by the local branch of the Sinn Féin party, and Eagan promised to stop contacting Mr. O’Brien. Sgt Sheehy said Egan failed the cease and desist.
Eagan pleaded guilty to two counts of harassment, contrary to sections 10 (1) and (6) of non-fatal crimes against humans in 1997.
Sgt Sheehy also told the court of Egan’s harassment campaign against Laura O’Connell. Ms. O’Connell filed a formal complaint against Sonya Egan in October 2018.
She met Egan while participating in a local activist issue. Eagan claims she is a legal expert, and at one point she met Ms. O’Connell in a pub in a barrister’s robe for coffee.
O’Connell was worried about Eagan and tried to stay away from her. Sergeant Shihee said Egan had begun to “bomb” the message to Ms. O’Connell. She started posting a message on Facebook that Mr. O’Connell was bullying her.
Egan claimed on Facebook that he had been defamed and harassed by Ms. O’Connell. After that, she created a number of fake Facebook accounts to comment on her posts. Eagan also sent emails to many who have made false allegations against Ms. O’Connell.
O’Brien previously submitted a statement to the judge regarding the impact on victims that was not read aloud in court. Ms. O’Connell said in her statement about the impact on her victims that she was afraid to get out of the door that resulted from harassment.
“At the age of 43, I’m a broken woman and I’m kneeling because of Sonya Eagan. I flinch at all the outside sounds, panic at the sound of the doorbell, and it follows her or her. I’m afraid I’m the one who can’t go anywhere without assessing who is following me or looking at me, and open social media without fear of what’s posted about me today I can not do it.”
Ms. O’Connell said she had paid a statutory cost of € 26,000 following an injunction against Eagan.
The details of the crime are that Eagan harassed Jonathan O’Brien in locations throughout the state on various days from January 17, 2018 to January 9, 2019.
She also pleaded guilty to harassing a woman named Laura O’Connell in locations throughout the state on various days from April 8, 2018 to June 26, 2019.
Attorney Anthony Summon, SC, directed by Padraig O’Connell’s lawyer Aimer Griffin, said his client apologized for her actions.
At a decision hearing on Monday, Judge Boyle imprisoned Egan for three years and suspended the last year of the decision.
The final year was suspended provided that Eagan had not been in contact with Ms. O’Connell or Ms. O’Brien for seven years. She was also ordered not to come within 50 yards of their home or workplace.
Judge Boyle said the harassment campaign lasted for over a year, targeting not only the two nominated individuals but also their families.
She said the campaign had multiple routes, including online and face-to-face harassment.
“It’s very serious and deserves imprisonment,” she said.
Judge Boyle said psychological reports stated that Egan had grown up in state care and endured multiple forms of abuse during her childhood. She was considered at low risk of her recidivism and provided a letter of apology for her actions.
Judge Boyle said Eagan “noticed the upset, pain and distress she had given to the victims.”
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“She said she wasn’t really aware of the extent of her actions. She said she was really sorry.”
After reading the statement on the consequences for the victims, Judge Boyle emphasized that Eagan’s actions had serious emotional and financial consequences for the injured. O’Brien said in a statement about the impact on the victim that the most influential factor was the defendant’s disclosure of personal information about his parents online.
Judge Boyle said this and Eagan’s approach to Mr. O’Brien’s children caused him “great pain.”
Both Mr. O’Brien and Mr. O’Brien have appeared in court for trial.
https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/cork-woman-jailed-for-campaign-of-harassment-against-former-sinn-fein-td-1325739.html Cork woman imprisoned for harassment campaign against former Sinn Féin party