A LOCAL woman complained to police when her former partner sent her a card bearing the Game of Thrones slogan, ‘I will take what is mine with fire and blood.’
Omagh Magistrates Court was told the card also bore the words ‘Daenerys Targaryen’ – the name of a fictional character in the popular television show.
After hearing the facts of the case, District Judge Bernie Kelly asked that the card be produced in court and it emerged it was a ‘Game of Thrones’ themed card. On that basis she did not convict the defendant of the charge of harassment although she did grant a two year restraining order.
The defendant, who was not present in court, was 63-year-old Stephen Townsend who now resides at Devon Court, Ivybridge, Devon in England.
He sent a Valentines card to the woman last February and the Game of Thrones card in October. She reported him to police for harassment.
The court was told she found the slogan ‘I’ll take what is mine by fire and blood’ on the front of the card to be “threatening.”
Townsend also wrote, “I was floating about yesterday and would like to meet up with you to put things to rest. I hope this letter finds you in rude health. I thought of you yesterday, in fact I think of you a lot. I am happy living in ‘Mulberry’ (in Devon) so you have nothing to worry about.”
His former partner previously reported he had threatened to burn her out of her home in 2011 and when he lived in Omagh she received threatening calls and texts from him.
Police located Townsend in Belfast and he admitted sending the cards. He said he did not intend to alarm or distress the woman and stated he would not be making contact with her again as he “now got the hint”.
A lawyer for the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) replied, “There is a backdrop from 2011 that caused concerns as did the writing on the front of the card.”
Judge Kelly said, “I can’t understand how the Valentines card in February and the card in October are harassing.”
Referring to the words ‘Daenerys Targaryen,’ she also asked whether the complainant understood Latin.
One of the cards was produced in court and it transpired it was published by ‘Game of Thrones’ and the slogan was a direct quotation from the programme.
The District Judge dismissed the charge.
The PPS then asked for a restraining order and Judge Kelly replied, “I’ll give you that” and imposed a two year order.