County Antrim man convicted of harassment of a school principal lodges appeal

County Antrim man convicted of harassment of a school principal lodges appeal

A MAN who had recently been given a suspended jail term after being convicted of 'impersonation of a police officer' and harassment of a school principal, has now lodged an appeal against conviction at Ballymena Magistrates Court.

Ryan Corry (41), with an address in the Broughshane area, had denied the charges but was recently found guilty after a court contest.

The particulars of the 'police officer' charge were that Corry 'with intent to deceive, impersonated a member of the police force, or makes a statement or did an act calculated falsely to suggest that he was such a member'.

The charges relate to May, 2021.

The defendant was sentencing on February 10 this year but at court this week, a defence barrister said: "He instructed after the sentencing hearing he didn't wish to appeal but he has now, as of yesterday, changed his mind."

District Judge Nigel Broderick asked if it was an appeal against conviction and sentence and the defence lawyer said: "Just conviction".

The defendant was given £500 bail with conditions that he does not contact the complainant or the Chair of a school Board of Governors.

A prosecutor told a recent court that last May a school principal reported to police that Corry's "behaviour was concerning and that he had been falsely accused of having an affair".

That court heard emails had been sent by Corry which included "reference to this alleged affair".

The prosecutor continued: "The principal made it clear to police that it was very distressing and alarming and could ruin his reputation as a principal of a primary school".

The court also heard Corry had also emailed the primary school's "Board of Governors".

The court heard that in emails the defendant "called himself a police officer serving in the PSNI" and "in emails he offers advice as a police officer despite the fact that he is not a serving police officer".

The prosecutor said Corry was arrested for 'harassment' and 'impersonating a police officer'.

The defence barrister told the February 10 court that whilst Corry "respects" the decision of the court the defendant had not accepted "the finding of the court" regarding the guilty verdict.

Judge Broderick had told the February 10 court: "The allegation was, wholly erroneously, that the victim in this case was having a relationship ...which I held was not substantiated by the evidence".

The judge said Corry was "in denial essentially" regarding the matters he was convicted of.

Judge Broderick had said the "conduct of harassment" would have caused the injured party "considerable concern and distress".

On February 10 the judge had handed down a five months prison term, suspended for two years; along with a two year Restraining Order.

  • Main picture: Ballymena Magistrates Court.