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Woman convicted of Facebook war on ex-boyfriend faces new charges

By Nevin Farrell

Published 08/09/2015

Maureen Curoe leaves the county court in Antrim yesterday
Maureen Curoe leaves the county court in Antrim yesterday
Adrian McAleese with his partner Yvvone Hegarty

A woman previously convicted of mounting a long-running Facebook campaign against her former boyfriend is facing new charges of a similar nature, a court has been told.

Maureen Bernadette Curoe (40), of Pilot Street, Belfast, was at the County Court in Antrim yesterday to appeal against a restraining order which gagged her from making reference on Facebook regarding her former boyfriend Adrian McAleese and his partner Yvonne Hegarty.

However, the appeal was adjourned after a prosecutor said a new summons was served on Curoe at the courthouse on Monday by police alleging "similar conduct" relating to dates in 2013.

And the prosecutor says there is also a similar further matter relating to September this year, but she said no summons has yet been prepared regarding that.

The prosecutor asked for the appeal to be adjourned until all the new matters are dealt with and the appeal case was put back until a date in October.

Judge Desmond Marrinan QC said that, because the appeal has been lodged, he was suspending the restraining order in the meantime.

But he told Curoe - who was standing in the dock - that it would be "very unwise" to post anything on Facebook relating to the other parties.

And the judge added: "If she were to post something offensive about these parties tonight, she would be committing a fresh offence and could be back to court.

"It would be extremely foolish to do anything that would create a further offence."

In July this year, Curoe was hit with a two-year restraining order and warned that if she breached it she could face up to five years in prison.

Curoe, who had been partner to Adrian McAleese (38) from Ballymoney for several years, was told by District Judge Liam McNally at Coleraine Magistrates Court on July 27: "It is now time for these messages to stop."

And the judge told her she had to get on with her own life and allow Mr McAleese and his partner, Yvonne Hegarty (47), from Coleraine, to get on with their lives.

He imposed a two-year restraining order which banned Curoe from posting any messages, or getting somebody else to post a message for her on any social media making any reference to Mr McAleese or Ms Hegarty or making any reference to any history involving them.

At the court in July, dismissing charges that Curoe had improperly used Facebook by posting messages, Judge McNally accepted there had been posts made by Curoe on Facebook, but they did not meet the test that they were of a menacing nature..

And after discussions involving the legal teams a prosecutor told the court they would offer no evidence on the charge that Curoe had harassed Ms Hegarty if the court would grant a restraining order to prohibit Ms Curoe referring to either Ms Hegarty or Mr McAleese on social media.

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