A 49-year-old man threatened to shoot his ex-wife and her new partner and he was given a six-month suspended jail sentence for breaching a Safety Order.
The accused was charged by Garda Keith Shier with breaching a safety order by putting his ex-wife in fear and yesterday Judge Olann Kelleher convicted him of that offence.
After a contested case at Cork District Court he said that the defendant’s ex-wife had been very fair and honest in her evidence. In fairness to the accused man, the judge said that he was also honest in his evidence.
Two charges of assault were dismissed against the man convicted of breaching the safety order. The judge said the dismissal of the charge of the assaulting his wife was based on her evidence in which she said she could have gotten marks on her arm when she stood between her partner and her ex-partner.
Diane Hallahan solicitor said it was the defendant who appeared in court on the first occasion with a swollen eye after being punched by the woman’s present partner in the house. However, the defendant was charged with assaulting the other man.
The evidence presented to Judge Kelleher by the prosecution is that the defendant swung for the other man who responded by punching him in the eye. The defendant did not make contact.
The judge said he had a doubt and gave the benefit of that doubt to the defendant, dismissing the second assault charge.
Judge Kelleher said he was finding as a proven fact that the defendant did threaten to shoot his wife and her new partner and that this constituted the breach of the safety order.
The defendant’s wife said she did not believe her ex-husband would shoot her and her new partner. “He was drunk on the night and he is a terrible drunk. He is aggressive when he is drunk. I am not afraid of him when he is sober.” Garda Keith Shier said that when the accused was arrested, charged and cautioned he replied, “That is a load of bollocks – absolute lies.” Garda Shier said an in camera hearing of Cork District Court that the defendant entered his wife’s home by force, pushing her out of the way as he forced his way in the front door and run upstairs to the children’s bedroom. He was later arrested in the house in a highly intoxicated state, Garda Shier said.
The guard testified, “He made threats that he would shoot both parties.” The defendant’s wife said at an earlier bail hearing, “(Beforehand) he sent text messages that were not making sense. I knew he was drinking. I went out to try and reason with him but he pushed the door in. He threatened to shoot me. He threatened to shoot (partner’s name).” Asked if she took seriously the alleged threats to shoot her and her partner, the witness replied, “He was drunk.” Ms Hallahan commented that this was a very fair answer.
The defendant said he was off the drink and going to meetings to deal with his issues. He denied making the threats alleged. He said the door was opened for him and he went upstairs to his children because of a particular concern that one of them was upset.
“I am 100 per cent sure I did not make them threats… I apologise for calling to the house with drink on me,” he said.
The defendant was refused bail after the January 6 incident and spent the next three nights in custody before getting bail on conditions.