Jilted woman lied about being pregnant with her ex's baby, told him he 'bullied' her into having an 'abortion' before pretending she gave birth, in campaign of harassment after they broke up
A jilted woman lied that she was pregnant with her ex's baby, accused him of bullying her into having an abortion and pretended to have given birth in a 'campaign of intimidation' after they broke up.
Stephanie Mahoney, 32, subjected her ex-partner and his mother to a barrage of online abuse but has now been spared a prison sentence after standing trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
She “made his life hell” by bombarding her ex and his mother with a series of vile messages on Facebook and Instagram, “lying about his pregnancy” and posting photos of aborted fetuses online.
She claimed he had 'bullied' her into ending the relationship, but also posted a photo of a newborn baby and suggested her ex was the father, the court heard.
Mahony, from Wavertree, Liverpool, was jailed for 18 months, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to stalking and breaching a stalking protection order.
Stephanie Mahony, from Wavertree, Liverpool, bombarded her ex and his mother with online abuse in a 'campaign of harassment' after their split, Liverpool Crown Court heard
Mahony, pictured outside court, has been given an 18-month suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to stalking and breaching a stalking protection order
The 32-year-old mother of a ten-year-old son made her victim's life 'hell', he told court – as his mother counted 25 fake social media accounts created by Mahoney
Mahoney, from Wavertree in Liverpool, was in a relationship with her victim between July 2020 and July 2021.
Simon Leong, prosecuting, described how Mahoney 'claimed she was pregnant with his child' but 'could not save the relationship'.
After their split, Mahoney began “a campaign of harassment and stalking” against both him and his mother.
That included posting his home address, where he lived with his 84-year-old grandmother, on Facebook and Instagram – alongside 'false allegations' that he had 'forced her to have an abortion'.
Mahoney allegedly created dozens of fake accounts on the two social media platforms and sent a series of disturbing messages to her ex, his relatives and friends.
She eventually “turned her attention” to his mother because he “didn't have much of a social media presence” and posted “a number of disturbing and unpleasant photos, including of aborted fetuses”, Mr Long told the court.
One included the caption suggesting that her victim's mother “would like her grandchild to look in pieces.”
In another post, Mahoney added, “Why do you want your grandchild torn apart?”
She also wrote a message in September 2021, accompanied by the complainant's address, saying: 'Let's expose the truth once and for all.'
She also branded him a 'bully' who had sung 'all kinds of dirty s**gs'.
In another, in February 2022, she stated: “This is the guy who gets girls pregnant and then forces them to have abortions.”
Mahoney reposted the man's address and urged others to “go there,” also writing, “It's all happening tonight.”
Meanwhile, she posted photos of a newborn child online and said her ex's mother “wanted to kill this child,” adding, “He's an innocent newborn boy.”
Mr Leong told the court: “It was always refuted by (the victim) that there ever was such a baby and that such a child was born.”
Mahoney's behavior was reported to the police and the fake accounts were linked to her IP address.
During an interview, she denied being responsible and claimed that her ex was “behind all the fake profiles and this was his attempt to get her.”
The court imposed a stalking protection order on her in December 2022.
This banned her from contacting her victims and from having more than one profile on any given social media platform – but she still 'maintained multiple accounts', including one that listed her ex-partner's mother as a 'grandchild killer' was labeled.
In a statement read to the court on behalf of Mahoney's ex-partner, he said she had posted photos of him and his relatives on a 'pedophile page' and that her actions had led to him being admitted to hospital due to illness . tension.
He claimed she also sent him 'fake baby scans', 'falsely claimed she was a nurse' and abused him for months 'because she couldn't get what she wanted'.
His statement added: “No one should have to suffer like this. She lied about her pregnancy more than five times.
'I was constantly walking on eggshells – she made my life hell and that's what she wanted to do.
'This has devastated my family. I've never had to deal with anything like this before.
“My mother was no more than a stranger to her; she never did anything to her.
“I never thought I would have to take my family to court over a girl I stupidly got involved with.”
'It is unbearable to be accused of these heinous things. I haven't been able to sleep and I'm constantly worried about my elderly mother. I am a shadow of myself.'
His mother, meanwhile, said in her own statement that she had “counted approximately 25 fake accounts” targeting both of them.
Kate Morley, mitigating, said Mahony had felt 'so emotionally traumatised, hurt and at a low point with feelings of abandonment that she lashed out emotionally and unfortunately caused deep pain and suffering'.
Mrs Morley added: 'She must have wanted to reduce her pain by transferring it to others.
'After the break-up, Ms Mahoney's life completely unraveled. She withdrew from friends and family and fell into a deep depression.
'She has been honest and forthright in saying she couldn't quit. She has shown deep remorse and regret.
“She realizes how damaging her actions were. She is ashamed and ashamed of her actions.
'She wants to apologize. She wants them to hear that she is sorry for the harm she has caused.”
Ms Morley told the court that Mahoney, a single mother of a 10-year-old son, was 'determined to return to work' and had not repeated this behavior in the past year.
In addition to the suspended prison sentence, Mahoney was given a requirement of up to 25 days of rehabilitation activity, must complete 160 hours of unpaid work and must pay £500 each to her ex-partner and his mother, as well as £400 in court costs.
A stalking protection order remains in effect indefinitely.
District Judge Gwyn Jones told her in court: 'You have heard the impact it has had, not only on the man you were in a relationship with, but on the whole family.
'There was a significant risk that others would have taken the law into their hands and taken action. It is very fortunate for you that people have not acted on your comments.”