A young woman who was so terrified that her ex-partner was going to kill her on Christmas Eve that she jumped from the first-floor balcony of her home breaking both ankles.
Garda Tim MacSweeney said the young woman was in a wheelchair for six weeks afterwards and was unable to mind her children.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a total sentence of 18 months on the culprit today.
The judge said: “This is a truly frightening case. To think this girl was so threatened and in fear that she jumped out of the balcony and broke both ankles."
"That level of personal distress is very difficult to see. She could not wait to get out of that horrible environment because of the threats.”
The judge noted from the evidence that there were two similar episodes of threatening behaviour the previous September culminating in this incident last Christmas Eve. “If anything it got worse.
“He felt he had possession or ownership of this girl and could direct her lifestyle as he saw fit. He was quite out of control on the night of the main threat to her,” the judge said.
He acknowledged the benefit to the victim of the plea of guilty entered by the accused.
Donal O’Sullivan defence barrister said the accused had brought €1,000 to court as a gesture of apology.
Garda MacSweeney said the victim was considering whether she would accept it or not. The judge said if she did not it could be given to St. Vincent de Paul.
41-year-old Mihai Cernat of 8 Pembroke Court, Passage West, admitted threatening to kill the woman in Passage West on Christmas Eve.
He also admitted threatening to kill her on two other occasions.
He was sentenced at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday on the charges that on September 8, 2019, he threatened to kill the woman or cause her serious harm at an address at Pembroke Woods in Passage West. There is a similar charge in respect of September 30 and a further charge of making a threat to kill or cause her serious harm on December 24 2018.
Judge Ó Donnabháin imposed two one-year sentence and a third sentence of two years with the last six months suspended – all sentences to run concurrently, making an 18-month total.
Garda MacSweeney said the victim still has nightmares of being killed in different ways by Cernat.