A young Cork woman claimed that her partner pulled her head down on the table and put a knife to her throat because she said earlier in pub banter that he had been “a gurrier” when they were young but was fine now.
Judge Colm Roberts said to the complainant after hearing both sides of the case, “I don’t disbelieve you.”
However, he said the case had not reached the point where he was satisfied to convict the accused man.
The young man who had been in a relationship with the complainant pleaded not guilty to a charge of breaching a safety order.
The accused said they had both been out drinking for a number of hours before the disputed incident in the early hours of March 19, that they had a few more drinks back in the house and a verbal argument then occurred but that there was no physical aspect to it.
Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer, complained that the only thing the complainant said in her statement was that there was a row back in the house – in alleged breach of the safety order.
However, he said that the defendant was hearing for the first time ever from her evidence in the witness box of alleged physical assaults.
She said, “We came home and he was angry. We had been speaking to two ladies in the pub. They were on about when we were young and I said he was a gurrier but he is changed now.
“He was angry when we got home. I said I was sorry. He held my head down on the table and put a knife to my neck.
“When I tried to get out of the house he caught me by the back of the hair. But I did get out. I went to my mother’s house,” she testified.
Mr Buttimer complained that none of that was in her statement and in fact she had told gardaí that she did not want to follow through with her complaint.
Judge Roberts said he had to safeguard against the possibility of trial by ambush where there was a significant divergence between what was said in the statement to gardaí and what was later said in the witness box.
The judge said he did not disbelieve the young woman and he found part of what the defendant said was lies. However, he said it was not safe to convict on the evidence.
Mr Buttimer said the parties were no longer in a relationship together but that the defendant had access through the courts to see their child.