'Neighbour from hell' watched feeds from 16 CCTV cameras on his TV

A “neighbour from hell” who harassed three of his neighbours and filmed one of them masturbating received a four-month suspended sentence in Blanchardstown District Court.

Judge David McHugh also ordered that Thomas Kelly stay away from his three victims “forthwith”.

Kelly installed CCTV cameras at the back of Weir View, Lucan, Co Dublin, that looked down on his neighbours. 

Thomas Kelly. Pic: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The live feeds from 16 cameras were then fed into a large TV in his sitting room.

Kelly told the court after he filmed Paul Lynam masturbating, he reported the incident to Tusla. 

He also wrote a letter to then justice minister Frances Fitzgerald.

Kelly, aged 65, of Weir View, Lucan, was found guilty of two counts of harassing Mr Lynam at Weir View, on dates between July 1 and July 15, 2016. 

He was also found guilty of harassing John Mooney at another address at Weir View on a date between February 1, 2016, and February 12, 2016, and to harassing William Stapleton at another address at Weir View on a date between those same dates.

The court had heard on February 11, 2016, a Garda assisted a detective inspector with a search of three premises at Weir View owned by Kelly. 

In Kelly’s house, there were two 50- to 60-inch TVs in the living room. 

One of the TVs was set to a normal channel and the other to a number of live CCTV feeds. 

Gardaí later found a camera on the escarpment behind the house pointed at the three injured parties’ homes.

On July 15, 2016, gardaí again went to Kelly’s house where they saw the two TVs set up in the same way.

Another camera was found in the escarpment.

Mr Lynam told the court he had lived in Weir View for 15 years and had a feeling he was being watched.

Mr Mooney told the court: “Living there is a nightmare at the moment. I can’t articulate how I feel. I feel I’m being watched. The back of my house is in darkness.

“I can’t allow my young daughter to open the blinds at the back of the house in case we are being filmed.”

Mr Stapleton told the court he was shocked when he discovered he and his family were being watched.

Kelly’s solicitor, Valerie Buckley, said her client is a pensioner who had never come to the attention of the gardaí before or since. 

Ms Buckley said the charges arise from a land dispute that is currently before the civil courts. 

Kelly is someone who is very focused in relation to that dispute and “perhaps a little bit too focused in relation to the security aspect”. 

Ms Buckley said the media attention on Kelly following the hearing was “very intense” and “distressing for him and his family”. 

She asked the judge to deal with the case by way of an order for Kelly to stay away from the victims. 

Judge McHugh told the court: “I consider this gentleman to be what is commonly known as the ‘neighbour from hell’.”

The judge said there is no question of leaving Kelly without a conviction and instead the decision is “whether he serves”.

He said it was a “close call” but he sentenced Kelly to four months jail, suspended for two years. 

Judge McHugh also made an order for Kelly to stay away from the victims “forthwith”.

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