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Man (23) accused of using Snapchat for witness intimidation remanded in custody for Christmas

On conviction, the charge carries a possible 10-year sentence.

Image: DPA/PA Images

A 23-YEAR-OLD DUBLIN man will spend Christmas in custody on remand after he was accused of using a Snapchat profile for witness intimidation.

Jason Hennessy of Sheephill Avenue in Blanchardstown was brought before Dublin District Court today, and applied for bail.

He denies the social media account allegedly used was his, defence solicitor Fergal Boyle said.

Hennessy was charged with witness intimidation under section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1999.

On conviction, it carries a possible 10-year sentence. 

He was arrested in Blanchardstown on Friday afternoon.

Garda Rebecca Gaffney told Judge John Cheatle the accused had no reply to the charge after caution.

The garda objected to bail citing the seriousness of the case.

She said an allegation was made on Friday about “messages of a threatening nature circulated online, on Snapchat”.

A message was allegedly circulated with an image of a young person and text over it saying:

Let’s share this around, this dirty little rat is after getting two of the lads charged in the last two days, if you see him around, smash him up.

The court heard it was about an injured party in an alleged robbery earlier this year, and two other people have been charged.

It was alleged the robbery complainant was also called as a “dirty grass”.

On arrest, Hennessy turned off his mobile phone, blocked the sim card and would not give gardaí access to the phone, Garda Gaffney told the bail hearing.

His solicitor put it to the garda that his client denied this Snapchat profile was his, and there was no evidence to state it was.

The garda alleged the account had already posted photos of himself and his home on it.

Boyle asked the judge to note there was no independent verification that it was his client’s account.

He also argued that the injured party had to be present for the bail hearing.

The garda said he had to move house because he was in “complete fear”.

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The solicitor told Judge Cheatle that Hennessy denied sending the messages.

He would abide by bail terms and his father had come to court, the solicitor said.

Some money was available, Boyle said, adding that they were in receipt of social welfare.

His client was entitled to the presumption of innocence, and bail, he argued.

Bail was refused.

Dressed in black T-shirt and light grey trousers, the accused sat silently for most of the case. However, when the judge made his ruling on the bail application, he stood up and started shouting.

During his outburst, he roared: “So, you’re going to lock me up for Christmas for something I didn’t do, locking me up for something I did not do, that’s a fucking joke, that is”.

It’s false, I didn’t do anything wrong, and you’re locking me up for Christmas, it’s a joke. Lock up who you want, they do what they want in this country. Locked up for something I didn’t fucking do.

He branded the allegations lies as he was escorted from the court.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on 27 December pending directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

About the author:

Tom Tuite

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