A 46-year-old man was convicted at Fermanagh Magistrates Court this week for breaching a non-molestation order while in Kenya partaking in charity work.

Nigel Leonard, who pleaded not guilty to the charge and who has an address of Forge Lane Brookeborough, was convicted by District Judge Stephen Keown. Sentencing will take place on January 7 after a pre-sentence report has been compiled.

The court heard that Leonard has a suspended sentence from July of this year for a previous breach of a non-molestation order.

Leonard’s ex partner, who has two young children with the defendant, gave evidence during the contest.

She told the court that over the course of four days in September, she received over 35 phone calls from the defendant.

17 calls in total were made, via WhatsApp, on September 15 between 5pm and 7.30pm. The injured party said that she “felt anxious and upset”.

She went on to say that over the course of the following three days more calls were made and that on September 17 she sent her ex-partner a message to say that she would contact police if he continued to call her.

She said that she did speak to him briefly on September 16 and told him “it was all too much”.

During cross examination, defence solicitor Gary Black put it to the injured party that the non-molestation order did not prohibit contact and that she and her ex-partner and their two children had spent time together over the summer months.

He recounted occasions at Happy Days in Omagh, the Round O park in Enniskillen and the Twelfth of August parades in Brookeborough where the four were together.

She replied that these incidents were being “taken out of context” and that on one of those occasions she had stayed because one of her children were frightened and that the child “had been through enough already”.

The defendant also gave evidence and he explained that he had travelled to Kenya to partake in some charity work and that he “wanted to clear his head” because the relationship with his former partner “was a big mess”.

When giving evidence he stated that he had wifi access when out at bars during the evening time and that he would phone during that time.

“He said he had phoned regularly while he was away and that the reason he had called so much on September15 was that he thought that his former partner had perhaps left her phone at home and he wanted to keep trying to see if he could speak to the children when she returned.

He said that the only reason he was calling was that he wanted to speak to his children.

“Any genuine father would want to speak to his children if he was away,” he told the court.

It had also been revealed that on September 17 the injured party had sent a message to her ex partner’s phone to say that if the calls continued, she would contact the police.

The defendant said that this message did not come through until after he had made additional calls on September 18 and that when he received the message he made no further contact until he returned home.

District Judge Michael Keown convicted Leonard saying that he had “no doubt that the calls harassed” the injured party.

The District Judge concluded proceedings by adjourning the case for sentencing on January 7.