Hike sentence

Man who secretly filmed ex-girlfriend gets suspended sentence

A man who placed a tablet computer in his ex-wife’s kitchen to secretly film her during a four-month period of harassment has been given a three-year suspended prison sentence.

Sean Kershaw (38) of Linnetsfield Walk, Blanchardstown, Dublin pleaded guilty to harassment between January 1, 2021 and April 11, 2021 at Phibblestown House, Castaheany, Dublin.

Garda Jessica Maguire testified that Kershaw’s former partner complained to gardaí that he had been harassing her for several months.

Kershaw told Gardaí he acted out of jealousy, curiosity and concern for his daughter, after her former partner started a new relationship.

Judge Martin Nolan told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Kershaw ‘couldn’t get over the relationship breakdown’ and had demonstrated an ‘obsessive streak’.

He imposed a three-year prison sentence on Thursday, which he suspended for three years on the condition that Kershaw behaves well during that time.

Judge Nolan also ordered that Kershaw have no direct or indirect contact with his former partner during this time and for the rest of Kershaw’s life, except as necessary to facilitate access arrangements for their daughter.

Garda Maguire testified that the complainant was in her kitchen with her new partner at around 8:30 p.m. on April 11, 2021 when they noticed a shiny object on the counter.

Camera app

The object was a tablet computer that ran a camera application and transmitted images to Kershaw. Gda Maguire said the device had been working for 36 days and several records had been saved by Kershaw.

Gda Maguire said the complainant’s balcony door had been unlocked without her knowledge. His emails and Whatsapp were also checked and copies of the Whatsapp messages were sent to Kershaw’s email address.

On one occasion, the Complainant got out of the bath and found Kershaw at the window. He admitted looking at her and said he would stop.

Kershaw was arrested on April 13, 2021, and a tablet and phone were seized. Gda Maguire agreed with defense attorney Jennifer Jackson BL that her client met his bail conditions and made full admissions to gardaí.

Kershaw had no previous convictions and supervised access to her daughter. A victim impact statement was delivered to the court, but was not read aloud.

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Ms Jackson said Kershaw’s behavior was horrendous and he apologized to his ex-partner and daughter for the trauma caused by his actions. She said Kershaw lost her job in March 2020 at the start of the lockdown, but did not tell her partner.

The couple separated in July 2020 when his former partner became aware of the situation.

They initially had a good relationship after the breakup, but Kershaw’s inappropriate behavior began when he realized she had started a new relationship.

Judge Nolan issued a destruction order for all recordings and told Kershaw to turn over any other material to gardaí.