A contestant on the first series of First Dates Ireland has been given a lifetime ban from contacting celebrity chef Dylan McGrath after she admitted harassing him over several months.
26-year-old Daphney Sanasie began pestering the former Masterchef Ireland judge after they went on two dates in early 2015, Dublin District Court had heard.
She bombarded the chef with nuisance phone calls and disturbing messages, including texts about “demons and souls” because she thought it was funny, the court was told.
The model and student from South Africa, who has an address at Jamestown Road in Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to harassing McGrath from September 9 until November 21, 2015 during which time 120 texts, WhatsApp messages, and phone calls were sent.
The offence can carry a 12-month jail term but Judge Michael Walsh said that it it did not reach the threshold for imposing a criminal conviction. However, he imposed an indefinite ban on Sanasie contacting McGrath directly or indirectly and ordered her to stay away from his place or residence, restaurants and places of business.
However, he found at one point that McGrath was “impolite to say the least” in a message to Sanasie and he said there were mixed messages and signals coming from him such as:
What’s wrong darling? I’m having dinner at a conference in Spain
I love that coat from your photo
I feel like that
After September 9, 2015, their relationship took a nasty turn and things became somewhat strained. The judge also noted that on one occasion after McGrath had asked her to stop, there were 45 messages from Sanasie on the same date.
It was also disclosed that over one weekend in mid-November 2015 the chef received 20 SMS messages and 75 via WhatsApp from her.
Sanasie had entered a guilty plea last month and the court had heard that she confessed to gardai that she did it to annoy him and she just thought it was funny.
Judge Walsh was told on September 9, 2015, between 4.27 pm and 5.01pm, that there were three messages “of a graphic nature” and McGrath replied to her saying he was sick of them.
One one occasion he had received a message saying she had been in a car accident which never happened. This was followed by a number of messages “mentioning demons and souls”.
The court had heard earlier that McGrath felt threatened and in fear and that “her behaviour was not normal”.
It also heard that all the unwanted messages and calls were made when she was under the influence of alcohol and that following her arrest she stopped contacting McGrath.
Ms Sanasie did not address the court but told reporters after the hearing that she was thankful to her fans for their messages of support and she had no hard feelings for Mr McGrath. She said she was glad the case was over and it arose out of a misunderstanding.
I am very delighted with the whole outcome and it has been a very difficult time for me because it took the whole year and I'm just glad it is over and I hope everybody else can just move on with their lives.
The celebrity chef was not present for the hearing but last month when she pleaded guilty he had come to court and later told reporters “I'm glad it's over”.