By Todd Alcott.
Cyber psychologist Dr Mary Aiken
Further to 37-year-old Brendan Doolin, of Leighlin Road, Crumlin, Dublin, being jailed in the Dublin Circuit Criminal yesterday for three years…
After he pleaded guilty to sending hundreds of abusive messages to six female writers and journalists – Sarah Griffin, Kate McEvoy, Sinead O’Carroll, Christine Bohan, Roe McDermott and Aoife Barry – over six years, between May 2012 and February 2018…
And whom the court heard had only left his home twice in the 17 years preceding the Garda investigation into him…
Cyber psychologist Dr Mary Aiken told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland:
“I think it’s [the case] is a major breakthrough, I think it’s a step forward in the real world and a giant step forward in cyber space.
“I think for the first time it’s an example of consequences for these types of behaviour online, these types of behaviour in cyber space.
“The point is that deterrent is a central principle in terms of any criminal justice system and that works on the premise that the threat of punishment will deter people from committing crime and reduce the probability and level of offending in society.
“This case is now showing that there are consequences for the offender’s behaviour and, hopefully, going forward, deterrent as a principle will work.”
Meanwhile, the six women whom Mr Doolan targeted have released a joint statement saying:
“Brendan Doolin’s campaign of harassment against us went on for years.
“We hope this case shows other men and women in this situation that what they say will be taken seriously if they come forward, and that online harassment is harassment and will be treated as such.
“We hope Brendan Doolin receives the help and rehabilitation he needs.
“We’d like to thank Detective Garda Colm Gallagher and his colleagues at the Cyber Crime Unit for their painstaking work on, and sensitive approach to, this case.”
Listen back in full here
Previously: Troll’s Three-Year Toll
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Brendan Doolin (37) left his home only twice in the previous 17 years prior to these matters being investigated. His lawyers described him as “an internet troll”.
Doolin of Leighlin Road, Crumlin, Dublin pleaded guilty to harassing Sarah Griffin, Kate McEvoy, Sinead O’Carroll, Christine Bohan, Roe McDermott and Aoife Barry on dates between May 2012 and February 2018.
Editor of the Journal news website Sinead O’Carroll, was once contacted and told to “break both legs” after she tweeted to promote an upcoming appearance on a television programme.
Kate McEvoy was informed that the sender of the emails was in the area where she lived, and once when she tweeted that her housemate had gone out for the evening, he messaged: “Good I’ll be over soon.”
Christine Bohan, who got more than 450 messages from Doolin, also received a 10-year-old political leaflet from him which carried a photograph of her on it. She was also sent an image of her from a dinner at her old college. After receiving this, Ms Bohan feared he had scoured the internet looking for her image.
Each of the women received hundreds of emails, usually using the same unusual font, containing insults such as calling the women “wannabes, nobodies, whiteist, bigots, lefties and pseudo intellectuals.”
He accused them of being narcissistic attention seekers, self-obsessed and concerned with their own self-promotion, referring to their “Twitter bubble” and suggesting that they do not care for others.