another TEACHER NAMED PERSON CLOWN

Obsessed teacher is spared jail despite posting bullets and a death threat to man who was having an affair with his wife

  • Michael Gaffney sent death threat to man who had an affair with his wife
  • Obsessed teacher also posted bullets to community activist Rudy Irion
  • The 52-year-old then falsely branded Mr Irion a drug dealer and a rapist
  • But he was spared jail after court heard his teaching career was in tatters
Teacher Michael Gaffney was spared jail despite posting bullets and a death threat to a man who had an affair with his wife

Teacher Michael Gaffney was spared jail despite posting bullets and a death threat to a man who had an affair with his wife
An obsessed teacher has been spared jail despite posting bullets and a death threat to a man who had an affair with his wife.
Michael
Gaffney tracked down Rudy Irion through social media and then launched a
seven-month campaign of lies and intimidation against him.
History and modern studies teacher Gaffney, 52, falsely branded Mr Irion a drug dealer and a rapist.
Then he went to Mr Irion’s house and sent letters to his neighbours in a bid to smear his name, a court heard.
But
he walked free after Greenock Sheriff Court was told he had already
been suspended from his job and faces almost certain dismissal.
Gaffney’s
death threat to Mr Irion – which included two imitation bullets –
stated: ‘One warning only. You will be shot. No more hiding behind doors
and your woman: cowardly liar, crook and fraudster.
‘Now a target. Remove from this address now. Last chance.’
In the
letter to neighbours Gaffney, who has previously been praised by the
charity Show Racism The Red Card for his work with his school pupils,
called Mr Irion a ‘n*****’.
He
signed the death threat – which had typewritten words cut out and glued
to a sheet of A4 paper – with the message: ‘Belfast Continuity. One
warning only.’
Gaffney is from Gourock, Inverclyde, but worked at remote Ardnamurchan High School in Lochaber.
Greenock Sheriff Court heard that his career was in tatters after Highland Council suspended him.
The
suspension came after he was found guilty last month of a prolonged
campaign of harassment against Mr Irion and his partner Marie.
History teacher Gaffney, 52, also falsely branded Mr Irion (pictured outside court) a drug dealer and a rapist

Greenock Sheriff Court

Campaign of
lies: History teacher Gaffney, 52, also falsely branded Mr Irion
(pictured outside court) a drug dealer and a rapist, Greenock Sheriff
Court (right) was told
Meanwhile
a General Teaching Council investigation is under way, with union
bosses warning Gaffney that the inquiry is likely to lead to his
dismissal.
Sheriff Tom Ward has now sentenced Gaffney to 240 hours unpaid work, the maximum that can be imposed.
The sheriff told him: ‘I think this whole experience has been a lesson to you. I do not expect to see you back here again.’
Defence
solicitor Aidan Gallagher said of Gaffney: ‘He was understandably
distressed by the news surrounding his spouse and the other party
involved here but he accepts that he should have behaved in a completely
different way.’
Gaffney sent the death threat last October when one of Mr Irion’s children was preparing to celebrate her birthday.
Mr
Irion, 56, told Gaffney’s trial last month: ‘There was a chance that
she could have opened it and read that horrible racist slur.’
He added: ‘I was scared to leave the house. I knew that he could afford to hire someone.’
There was a chance that she could have opened it and read that horrible racist slur
Rudy Irion on Gaffney’s death threat
The
court heard that Gaffney’s Ukranian-born wife Liliya, 37, had met Mr
Irion at the Cafe Continental bar in Gourock in October 2003.
At that point she was just three months into her marriage with Gaffney.
She went back to Mr Irion’s house with him and they began a fling.
She made up an imaginary friend called Olga as cover for each time she visited the community activist.
And she told Gaffney that Mr Irion was helping her with a job application.
Mr Irion’s partner Marie Bradley told the court how she was ‘sickened’ by the bullets-in-the-post letter.
Ms
Bradley, 36, who had to go on medication because she was so worried by
the threats, said: ‘I started to cry. I was scared and terrified.’
Gaffney even tracked Ms Bradley, a housekeeping worker, to the hotel where she worked.
He was
found guilty of engaging in a course of conduct between March 1 and
November 1 2015, including making enquiries via social network sites to
trace Mr Irion and state repeatedly that he was a rapist under
investigation by police, as well as sending postal messages to his
neighbours falsely stating that he was a rapist and a drug dealer.
Gaffney
was also convicted of sending a postal packet on October 31 last year
containing two imitation bullets, causing Mr Irion and Ms Bradley to be
placed in a state of fear and alarm.

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