A man who kept a computer tablet in his former partner’s kitchen in order to secretly film him during a four-month period of harassment has been sentenced to three years in suspended prison.
Ein Kershaw (38) of Linnetsfield Walk, Blanchardstown, Dublin pleaded guilty to harassment between January 1, 2021 and April 11, 2021 at Fibbelstown House, Castehney, Dublin.
Garda Jessica Maguire gives evidence that Kershaw’s former partner complained to Garda that he had been harassing her for several months.
Kershaw told Gardai that he acted for his daughter out of jealousy, curiosity, and concern when her former partner began a new relationship.
Judge Martin Nolan said Kershaw “did not recover from the break-up” and had displayed an “obsessive streak”.
He was today sentenced to three years in prison which he suspended for three years on the condition that Kershaw will be of good behavior for the period.
Judge Nolan also ordered that Kershaw was not to have any direct or indirect contact with his former partner during this period and for the rest of Kershaw’s life, except if access to his daughter was necessary to facilitate the arrangement.
Garda Maguire gave evidence that the complainant was in the kitchen with her new partner at around 8.30 pm on April 11, 2021, when she saw a shiny object on the counter.
The object was a computer tablet running a camera app and forwarding footage to Kershaw. Gda Maguire said the device had been running for 36 days and that several recordings were saved by Kershaw.
Gda Maguire said that the door of the complainant’s balcony was open without his knowledge. His email and WhatsApp were also accessed and copies of WhatsApp messages sent to Kershaw’s email address.
On one occasion, the complainant got out of the bath and found Kershav at the window. He accepted to see her and said that he would stop.
Kershav was arrested on April 13, 2021 and a tablet and phone were confiscated. Gda Maguire agreed with defense attorney Jennifer Jackson BL that her client complied with her bail conditions and made full admission to Gardai.
Kershav had no previous convictions and had supervised access to his daughter. A victim impact statement was handed over in court, but not read aloud.
Ms Jackson said Kershaw’s behavior was appalling and apologized to her former partner and daughter for the trauma caused by her actions.
She said Kershaw lost her job at the start of the lockdown in March 2020, but did not tell her partner. The couple split in July 2020 when their former partner came to know about the situation.
They had a good relationship initially after the breakup though Kershav’s inappropriate behavior started when he came to know that they have started a new relationship.
Judge Nolan ordered destruction of any recordings and asked Kershaw to hand over any other material to Gardai.
The court heard that the complainant saw Kershav when she was on her way to work on several occasions, and saw him standing at corners in her path.
Kershaw also approached the woman’s new partner without her consent and asked her not to tell him about their encounter. Garda Maguire provided evidence that Kershaw had sent a message of apology to the woman’s new partner.
Kershaw admitted to listening to his former partner’s kitchen window on three occasions. He told Gardai that he accessed her laptop on three separate occasions and copied WhatsApp messages.
The court heard that he was attending the counseling session and a psychological report was submitted. Ms Jackson said Kershaw and her former partner were living in close proximity, but the defendant is looking to move on.
Judge Nolan said Kershaw’s behavior was indicative of someone who wanted to control his former partner.
Ms Jackson said this was not Kershaw’s initial inspiration, but she was concerned about her daughter growing up without her father. Kershav’s own father was abusing him and left the family home when he was seven years old. The lawyer said that Kershav was concerned for the welfare of the child, though this did not justify his behaviour.