Man who threatened to share intimate pictures of ex after Netflix row is jailed

A man who threatened to send intimate pictures of his ex-partner to her family and friends after she refused to allow him access to her Netflix account has been jailed for two and a half years.

Stephen Coveney Ryan appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court in Co Donegal.

He is charged with threatening to distribute or publish an intimate image without the consent of another person with the intent to cause harm or being reckless as to whether harm is caused to the other person which he pleaded guilty to.

On the same date, 23rd January, 2022 at an unknown place, he was also charged with making threats to kill the same woman which was taken into account.

Details of the incident were given by Detective Garda Patrick Kelly.

The court heard the couple had been in a relationship but had split and that the woman had taken out a barring order against 27-year-old Coveney Ryan in March, 2022.

The accused tried to communicate with the woman by changing his Netflix profile on the woman’s account and leaving a message for her.

The contents of this message cannot be published so as not to identify the victim.

Gardai advised the woman to cut off all contact with Coveney Ryan and as part of this she changed her log-in details for her Netflix account.

As she did so she checked all her social media messages including Facebook, WhatsApp and others.

On March 7th, she noticed older Facebook messages from a person using the profile John McGuinness.

She said that Coveney Ryan sometimes used this name.

A number of messages were left on the woman’s Facebook messenger making threats to the woman.

The McGuinness account (used by Coveney Ryan) made threats warning that he would distribute intimate pictures to her family and friends if he was not allowed back into the Netflix account.

Coveney Ryan, who was raised in Tipperary but is now incarcerated, added that the woman had three hours or he would start sharing the intimate picture with her family and friends in three hours from the threat.

In another message, he warned that she was “pushing the wrong buttons today darling” and added “f*** with me and I will kill you today.”

A letter of apology written by the accused was read out in court by the accused man’s barrister, Mr Patrick Gageby, SC.

The court was also told that Coveney Ryan has 12 previous convictions and they include making threats to kill or cause serious harm, thefts, possession of a controlled drug, public order and burglary.

A victim impact statement from the woman was also handed into the court but was not read out.

Mr Gageby said his client had a traumatic upbringing, with his father leaving the family home when he was just three-years-old while his mother suffered mental health issues which led him to being placed in care.

He said however, that his client was not without intelligence and insight and that his letter of apology to his former partner gave an indication of that.

Mr Gageby said he appreciated the court did have to impose a consecutive sentence arising out of the fact that this offence was committed while Coveney Ryan was on bail for an offence which he is now serving a custodial sentence for.

He referred Judge John Aylmer to a comprehensive report by psychologist Dr Kevin Lambe saying his report reflected a very sad story and asked the court to peruse the report.

He added that this particular incident occurred around a time of high emotion while he was smoking cannabis and the like.

He said his client is due for release from jail on March 5th and it is his client’s intention to live and work in Dundalk where he has friends who are respectable.

Mr Gageby suggested the Probation Service may also have a role as well as the mental health services.

Judge Aylmer said the maximum sentence for the offence was one of seven years and noted an aggravating factor in the case was that Coveney Ryan was committed while out on bail.

Added this the fact that it was committed against a former partner meant it was even more serious under Section 40 of the Domestic Violence Act.

He placed the offence in the mid-range of such offences and one which merited a sentence of three years in jail before mitigation.

Judge Aylmer noted the letter sent to the victim by the accused and said it appeared he was an intelligent man and noted the incident took place while Coveney Ryan was in a heightened state of emotion.

He added that it also appeared he was taking concrete steps while in prison and because of these factors he would reduce that sentence to one of two and a half years.

He also suspended the final 12 months of the sentence if he signs a bond to be of good behaviour, abstain from alcohol and unprescribed drugs and  attend the MOVE (Men Overcoming Violence) programme.


Man who threatened to share intimate pictures of ex after Netflix row is jailed was last modified: February 1st, 2024 by Staff Writer

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