Posted Revenge Pornography on ex-girlfriend’s ‘Facebook’

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man has appeared in court accused of signing into his ex-girlfriend’s Facebook account and posting ‘revenge porn.’

Aaron Connor, of Cromore Gardens, is charged with harassment, common assault and improper use of public electronic communications. The charges relate to alleged incidents between February 4 and February 18.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations that Connor was ‘obsessed’ with his ‘ex’ and couldn’t accept their eight month relationship was over. It is alleged that police were called on February 3 because the woman felt ‘in fear of violence’ from him.

The 37-year-old had allegedly gone to her home and blocked the door with his whole body when he was refused entry.

The following day it is alleged the complainant received messages from a friend advising her that something was wrong with her Facebook page. Two photos and ‘vulgar’ comments had been posted and she believed the defendant was responsible.

Her passwords had also been changed. The woman was ‘hugely distressed’ by the posts which were described in court as ‘revenge porn’.

Connor was arrested on February 9 and admitted all the offences. The court heard he was ‘very remorseful’.

He was released on police bail with a condition not to contact the complainant. However, it is alleged that Connor telephoned and emailed the woman after his release.

The court was told he phoned her eight times and left three voicemail messages over a two hour period.

The woman also allegedly received a bunch of flowers from him with a note that read: ‘I am sorry. I will always love you’.

Police went to the complainant’s home to take a further statement from her and Connor was arrested when he also arrived at the property.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said the complainant was ‘scared in her own home’ and was fearful that Connor will continue to contact her.The officer added that the defendant lives close to where the woman works.

Defence solicitor, Richard Campbell, said his client was ‘deeply regretful’ for his behaviour.

Mr Campbell said the contact was an attempt by the defendant to ‘repair’ the relationship at first and then to apologise for his behaviour.

He added that Connor suffered from mental health issues and ‘finds himself unravelling.’ The solicitor said the defendant also suffers from chronic alcoholism and told the court ‘custody is not the place for him’.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said the defendant’s behaviour towards the complainant was ‘coercive control’.

‘This is all about control, exercising dominion over someone else’s free will’.

He said he had no confidence Connor would abide by bail conditions.

The judge added if anyone was convicted of posting revenge porn ‘they can quite rightly expect an immediate custodial sentence’.

Connor was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on March 10.