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Man fined for ‘sexually explicit’ letter to jailbird


Newry court

Newry court

Newry court

A Co Down man who sent a female prison inmate an unwanted, sexually explicit letter has been fined £250.

Newry Magistrates’ Court heard that on December 6 last year, the unknown prisoner received a letter from 59-year-old Joseph McAvoy which was “sexually explicit”.

McAvoy was easily identified as the sender, as he had included a photograph of himself and had listed his address in case the lucky jailbird wanted to write back to him.

“The injured party doesn’t know how he got her prison number,” the prosecuting lawyer told the court on Wednesday, adding that when he was questioned, McAvoy admitted sending the perverted letter.

Appearing in court in person, McAvoy, from Rath Cuain in Warrenpoint, entered a guilty plea to sending an indecent or obscene matter through the post.

Describing it as a “rather unusual set of circumstances”, defence solicitor Ruairi Gillen revealed that McAvoy “got her details from a magazine and this lady’s details were in it”.

“She had signed up to receive letters from random people,” said the solicitor, adding that, having seen the magazine himself, “I can tell you that the magazine is highly sexualised and that’s the context in which he sent the letter”.

The lawyer further revealed that McAvoy has a conviction for similar offences in 2010 and, according to reports at the time, McAvoy sent explicit letters to 400 women across the UK, after buying their details from a mailing company.

“I’m attempting to get him mental health help and he knows he has issues,” said Mr Gillen, who told District Judge Eamonn King that McAvoy lives an “isolated” existence and “doesn’t have a big friendship network. That’s why he accessed this type of publication and correspondence with people.”

In addition to the £250 fine, DJ King also ordered McAvoy to pay a £15 offender levy.

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