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Derry man who posted semi-naked images of ex-girlfriend on her Facebook account refused bail

Published 29/07/2016

Aaron Connor's defence counsel said posting the images on Facebook was reprehensible but the images were not pornographic
Aaron Connor's defence counsel said posting the images on Facebook was reprehensible but the images were not pornographic

A man who admitted accessing his ex-girlfriend's Facebook account to post semi-naked images of her must remain in custody due to his "obsessive personality", a High Court judge ruled on Friday.

Refusing Aaron Connor's bid to get back out on bail, Mr Justice Stephens said his actions have had a "destructive" impact on the victim's independence and confidence.

The 38-year-old computer researcher from Cromore Gardens, Derry faces charges of harassment and sending menacing messages through a public communication network.

He was previously granted bail, but detained again for allegedly breaching a ban on going near his former partner's work. Prosecution counsel claimed the offences started in February, after the woman had ended their relationship.

Connor allegedly went to her home and tried to get in, forcing her to push against the front door in a bid to stop his entrance. The next day she was alerted by a friend that something was wrong with her Facebook account, the court heard.

When the woman logged in she discovered two semi-dressed photographs of herself and "vulgar" comments she had not posted.

In one her top half was naked, but with arms across her breasts. The other photo depicted the lower part of her body in pants.

"They were sexual images," the prosecutor said.

Connor had been granted bail on strict conditions, including a ban on any contact with the woman or going within 200 metres of her workplace. But the court heard she spotted him sitting outside that location last month, allegedly gesturing for her to stop as she left.

Defence counsel Sean Doherty argued that Connor had not sent any threatening or menacing messages to his ex-partner following the break-up. Describing his client's behaviour in posting the images on Facebook as "reprehensible", Mr Doherty contended: "They were inappropriate, but they were not pornographic."

However, the application for fresh bail was denied due to the potential for further incidents. Mr Justice Stephens said: "I consider there's a clear risk of re-offending by virtue of the obsessive personality of the applicant.

"The conduct of the applicant has been certainly very destructive to the independence (and) confidence of his ex-partner."

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