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Belfast man accused of sending sexual images to ex’s mum is refused bail

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The defendant is not being named to protect the identity of his alleged victim

The defendant is not being named to protect the identity of his alleged victim

Getty Images

The defendant is not being named to protect the identity of his alleged victim

A Belfast man allegedly sent sexual photos of his ex-partner to her mother in a bid to destroy her reputation, the High Court heard.

Prosecutors claimed the intimate images were disclosed on social media as part of a wider campaign of coercive control.

Refusing bail to the 34-year-old accused, a judge expressed concerns over any attempts to "ruin" the woman's life.

The defendant is not being named to protect the alleged victim's identity.

He faces charges of disclosing private sexual photographs and breaching a non-molestation order.

A Crown lawyer said the woman received a Snapchat message in July this year from an account using her ex-partner's name.

The publicly-accessible profile picture showed her chest, the court heard.

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"She was later informed that the previous day (the defendant) had sent private sexual photographs to her mother," prosecution counsel submitted.

"She was extremely embarrassed by this."

The woman's mother confirmed to police that she had received four images of her daughter via WhatsApp.

During police interviews the accused denied knowing anything about the Snapchat account.

He accepted having images of the woman from their relationship, but could not comment on any sent to her mother.

Opposing bail, the barrister contended: "The concerns are that he is exercising a coercive, controlling influence over her, he doesn't want to let her go.

"He seems to be attempting to destroy her reputation with her family and her wider circle."

Defence lawyer Conan Rea told the court his client has a history of substance abuse and had "gone off the rails".

He added: "If ultimately proven, it's a nasty offence."

Mr Justice O'Hara ruled that the accused must remain in custody.

He said: "I don't accept that (he) can be trusted not to re-offend and try to ruin and control (the woman's) life if released on bail."


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