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After months of harassment, former partner free from terrifying ordeal

By Gary Dimmock

Monika Taing and Michael Gleeson

Monika Taing and Michael Gleeson

The ex-boyfriend of a woman at the centre of a bullets-flying feud between former lovers and associates of crime families, pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to criminal harassment for a months-long campaign of terror that had Ottawa nightclub owner Monika Taing fearing for her life.

Michael Gleeson, 28, texted Taing thousands of abusive and threatening texts, sent her hundreds of e-mails, and called her up to 100 times a day from December 2014 to July 2015, court heard.

At first, the messages and calls were annoying, but over time became so threatening that Taing, 29, went into hiding and changed her daily routine out of fear for herself and family, court heard. Gleeson would routinely apologize the next day, but even though Taing begged him to leave her alone, he didn’t.

Gleeson once sent Taing a photograph of himself with a knife to his throat and warned that if she had people coming after him, they’d better put a bullet in his head, or he’d put one in theirs, court heard. He also said that nobody in her world could “save her” and he went on to threaten to “blow people’s heads off.”

Taing filed a victim-impact statement with the court, in which she she described harrowing times.

“I was living a nightmare ... No matter how hard I tried to sever all communication and contact from Mr. Gleeson, he always found a way to reach me.”

Taing recounted the endless phone calls and text messages, day and night.

“The messages were frightening. I feared for everyone. He was willing to hurt anyone I cared about — from the young to the elderly and voiced that no one would be able to stop him. This terrified me,” Taing wrote in her impact statement.

Gleeson, who was arrested in July, was sentenced Tuesday to time served — 231 days — and will be on probation for three years. He was also ordered to stay 150 metres away from Taing and give a DNA sample for the national databank.

The Ottawa police anti-gang squad is probing three February shootings as the byproduct of a feud between former lovers and associates of two area crime families.

The shootings — bullets flying into the front-door of a Tremblay Road home, windows of a Little Italy gym pierced by gunfire, and a midnight shooting into a white Selby Avenue house — are believed to be connected to a dispute between associates of the Manasseri family and the Alkhalil family that has been prompted by a broken romance.

gdimmock@postmedia.com

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