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Northern Ireland news

Youth worker handed suspended jail term for harassing ex-partner

A youth worker has been handed a suspended prison sentence for harassing an ex-partner

A YOUTH worker who posted private images of his ex-partner on Twitter and bombarded her with phone calls has been handed a suspended sentence amid warnings he will be jailed if he tries to contact her again.

Fernando Murphy (40), of Balholm Drive in north Belfast, was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for three years, after he pleaded guilty to harassment.

Murphy had been due to go on trial accused of harassing his ex-partner between December 2016 and March this year but his lawyer yesterday told Antrim Magistrates' Court he was pleading guilty.

A prosecution lawyer told the court that a non-molestation order against Murphy had been put in place in October last year.

She said he had made dozens of phone calls to his ex-partner from a withheld number and left her upsetting messages. He also telephoned the victim's daughter and left voicemails.

District Judge Peter King handed Murphy the suspended sentence, as well as a three-year restraining order.

"If there's anything you take away from today it has to be the fact that she wants absolutely nothing to do with you, because it's clear from her statement that your presence in her life is anything but benign and is causing her significant anxiety and angst," he said.

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