Northern Ireland man admits harassing woman through dating site Plenty of Fish
A man who sent a string of messages to his ex-partner through the dating website 'Plenty Of Fish,' has admitting harassing the woman.
Paul Ruck (25), whose address was given as Monaghan Street, Milford, County Armagh, but who previously lived at Patrick Place in Ballymena, "didn't appreciate the relationship was over" according to a defence lawyer.
A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates' Court on Thursday that in July last year the woman received a considerable number of messages from Ruck over a 24-hour period through the plentyoffish.com website.
She told the defendant she did not want him to contact her and she printed out "29 pages" of screen grabs relating to messages sent by Ruck.
The prosecutor said at one point Ruck had "threatened suicide" if the woman did not go back with him.
The prosecution lawyer added that on another occasion Ruck saw the woman in Ballymena's Front Page bar and again she told him to leave her alone but he followed her as she walked home in the early hours and tracked her to a McDonald's restaurant.
The prosecutor said Ruck told police he had been referred to a mental health team and he admitted his behaviour was harassment but at the time he didn't believe that to be the case.
Defence barrister Michael Smith said Ruck had taken alcohol and had "misread the signals" from the woman and "didn't appreciate the relationship was over".
District Judge Peter King ordered Ruck to carry out 75 hours of Community Service and put him on probation for a year with a condition that he attends a 'Building Better Relationships' programme.
The judge said the defendant had a previous conviction for harassment in 2012 when he had received a conditional discharge and it was quite clear he "didn't learn the lesson".
Also in court on Thursday, Judge King agreed to a prosecution suggestion that an anti-harassment order be served on Ruck.