ken1011120.001.006.melb.s/age.news. photograph ken irwin story by john mangan
shows: leonard cohen on stage at hanging rock

Leonard Cohen. Photograph Ken Irwin. Photo: Ken Irwin KEN

Singer Lonard Cohen's former manager has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for harassment after years of abusive phone calls, emails and messages to the singer.

Kelley Lynch, who had worked with Cohen for 17 years, had been fired by the singer in 2004 and sued in 2005 for stealing $5 million from Cohen's private bank accounts and investments.

After a judge found in his favour and ordered her to pay back $9.5 million, she becan her campaign of harrassment until stopped by last week's sentence.

ken1011120.001.006.melb.s/age.news. photograph ken irwin story by john mangan
shows: leonard cohen on stage at hanging rock

Leonard Cohen. Photograph Ken Irwin. Photo: Ken Irwin KEN

"It gives me no pleasure to see my one-time friend shackled to a chair in a court of law, her considerable gifts bent to the service of darkness, deceit and revenge," Cohen said. "[But] I want to thank the defendant Ms Kelley Lynch for insisting on a jury trial, thus exposing to the light of day her massive depletion of my retirement savings and yearly earnings, and allowing the court to observe her profoundly unwholesome, obscene and relentless strategies to escape the consequences of her wrongdoing."

During her campaign of harassment, Lynch would contact Cohen several times a day, threaten his family and at one stage saying he should be "taken down and shot".

At her sentencing last Tuesday, even Lynch admitted she had engaged in "excessive and unauthorised rambling".

In addition to the jail term, Lynch was sentenced to five years' probation, is banned from owning weapons for the next decade and will undergo anger management training.

"It is my prayer that Ms Lynch will take refuge in the wisdom of her religion," Cohen said. "That a spirit of understanding will convert her heart from hatred to remorse, from anger to kindness, from the deadly intoxication of revenge to the lowly practices of self-reform."