A Galway-based man has been sentenced to nine months in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of harassment, arising from the sharing of sexually explicit photos of his former girlfriend online.

27-year-old Joseph O'Connor - with an address at Lios an Uisce, Merlin Park, Galway - posted the images, with links to his ex-girlfriend's social media profiles on an internet forum.

It is reported that this resulted in the victim being sent several friend requests each day from people she did not know.

O'Connor, who is originally from Co Cork, was charged with breaches of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

Galway District Court was told the images were subsequently removed but that this had been a laborious process.

Judge Mary Fahy was told the harassment had a long-lasting impact on the victim and led to the break-up of a subsequent relationship she was involved in.

Defending solicitor, Brian Gilmartin, told the court that O'Connor had uploaded the photographs after taking offence that an image of him had been shared on a private group chat by the victim.

He said the defendant accepted that his behaviour was reprehensible and that he was offering no excuses on behalf of his client.

Garda Paraic Moran said the offence came to his attention when the victim made a complaint in August 2018.

Given the gravity of the charges before her, Judge Mary Fahy said she would have to impose a custodial sentence of nine months.

Leave to appeal the sentence was granted on the basis of the defendant providing his own surety of €600.


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