28-year-old breached non-molestation order

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A man who told his child that her mother is ‘a tramp’ has been ordered to complete 75 hours community service.

Thomas Gallagher, of The Meadows, pleaded guilty to breaching a non-molestation order on two separate occasions between October 2014 and January this year.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the non-molestation order was granted in October 2014 and there have been on-going issues between the former couple about child contact.

On one occasion, Gallagher began shouting at his ex-girlfriend when she came to collect their daughter.

He told the child ‘just you remember your mammy is a f****** tramp’.

The 28-year-old also made a threat towards his ex-partner’s father.

On another occasion, Gallagher sent text messages to the woman and wrote her a letter. Both of these acts breached the court order.

It was accepted the messages were not ‘over-bearing or threaten violence’ but involved issues about child contact.

Defence counsel Dean Mooney told the court the former couple have a ‘fractious’ relationship and his client has allowed ‘his frustrations to manifest themselves in a most inappropriate way’.

He said Gallagher had a completely clear record before this and he has given up a civil service job to pursue contact with his child.

Imposing the community service order, District Judge Peter King said Gallagher has ‘allowed your life to be taken over by issues surrounding contact’.

He said it is ‘hugely regrettable’ the 28-year-old has ‘allowed it to escalate to the point where you are sitting in a dock with a prison officer beside you in a criminal court’.

‘In an ideal world none of this would be necessary as we would all live together happily ever after. We don’t live in an ideal world and what you need to do is manage this situation’.

The judge warned Gallagher if he appears in court again for breaching the order ‘the next stage is some form of imprisonment and that will really cause you difficulties in the family proceedings’.