A garda who tortured and terrorised a woman ill with cancer has been sentenced to three-and-a-quarter-years in prison.

Paul Moody, who was stationed at Irishtown Garda Station in Dublin, pleaded guilty to a charge of coercive control of the woman.

Nineteen other charges, including assault, theft, criminal damage and a threat to kill the woman, were taken into account.

An Garda Síochána has confirmed this evening that Moody is no longer a member of the force.

The 42-year-old garda beat, kicked, punched and choked the woman over a two-and-a-half-year period.

He also sent her over 31,000 threatening, abusive, degrading and demeaning texts and phone communications, told her he hoped she would "die of cancer" and "die in pain" and threatened to kill her.

Unbeknownst to her he also took pictures of her naked and threatened to circulate them online.

He stole her cancer medication and the woman told the court she could not afford to replace it.

He turned up at a hospital she was in and told her he only came to watch her "bleed to death".

The hospital had the garda removed and barred him from returning.

Judge Martin Nolan said today Moody was a "bully" who made the victim's life "hell".

He harassed her hugely and abused his position in An Garda Síochána to get information. He said Moody engaged in a catalogue of vile and humiliating criminal behaviour.

The judge said it was hard to imagine why he did it, but he did. He said he had disgraced himself and, to some degree, his colleagues in An Garda Síochána.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Gardaí praise victim for 'immense courage and resilience'

Gardaí have praised the "immense courage and resilience" of Nicola, the victim of the garda.

Detective Inspector Cormac Brennan said she could be proud of her personal courage and she has shown other victims that when an abusive partner says no one will believe you, they are wrong.

He said that coercive control is about power, about isolating a partner and breaking that person down.

It is, he said, a heinous, degrading reign of control and overwhelming. He also said that the power is even more overwhelming if the abuser holds a position or profession of respect in the community as in this case a garda.

Gardaí also appealed to anyone else in an abusive relationship to "please take that first step" and speak to someone.

"You have done nothing wrong," he said, "you do not need to accept it, you are not alone, please take that first step, you will be believed."

He also said the gardaí are committed to tackling abuse and it does not matter who the abuser is.