A BOUNCER accused of sending X-rated pictures of his former police officer girlfriend to her force colleagues has had the charges against him dropped.
Darren McGuinness was arrested and charged over harassing his ex-partner of nine years, by texting three naked images to 14 of her Northumbria Police colleagues.
Today, as the harassment charges were dropped, the 37-year-old doorman of Abercorn Road, Farringdon, told the Echo of his “year from hell”.
He said: “It’s been a nightmare. I couldn’t even go to Asda to do my shopping without getting paranoid that people were looking at me and talking about me.
“It’s hard to deal with because a lot of people will jump to the conclusion that you’re guilty, and I’m a distinguishable person because I go to the gym and I’ve got tattoos.
“I just felt like I constantly had people looking at me and making assumptions.”
Darren faced three charges under the Malicious Communications Act of sending articles of an indecent or offensive nature.
But those charges were discontinued at a hearing at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court just days ago.
The court case – which has been ongoing for the last nine months – has also put a strain on Darren’s family life, even causing his teenage daughter to have problems in school.
Darren said: “It was really hard to see my daughter having to go through this.
“No kid should ever have to be in that position and hear those kind of things being said about their dad.
“She’s only 13 but she’s taken it all so well.
“I know it sounds cliché but she’s been my rock. She would constantly ask if I was OK and tell me that she was behind me.
“She could always tell when I was upset or a bit down. It would have been a lot for her to take.”
Darren says he is now trying to look towards the future and move on with his life.
He said: “I just want it to all be in the past. I’m seeing someone else now so I just want to move on.
“Having all this going on did put a bit of a strain on my new relationship at first, but I knew her beforehand, so she knew what kind of person I was, so it wasn’t too hard.
“The main thing I worried about was what her family would think.
“I know for a fact if it was my daughter who’d started going out with someone who had these charges against them, I’d be saying to her that she can see him again when he’s found innocent – but they were fine.”
When the charge was first brought against Darren, police confiscated items from his home like his mobile phone, Xbox, digital cameras and his daughter’s iPod.
He said: “It has been a hard time but it’ll be over soon and I can just get on with life with my family and my new partner.”