A WOMAN was in such fear of her husband that she hid from him at their home and then fled to her mother’s where he arrived on a later date highly intoxicated and with a dagger on the floor of his car.
These incidents occurred on dates in February. Now at Cork District Court he has been sentenced to three months imprisonment.
Defence solicitor, Diarmuid Kelleher, said the accused did not realise he was an alcoholic until he was remanded in custody and had to be put on Librium because of the severity of his withdrawal from alcohol.
The 49-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of putting his wife in fear in breach of a safety order.
“He now accepts he is an alcoholic and why his wife had to go and get a safety order,” Mr Kelleher said.
Even before Sergeant Gearóid Davis reminded the judge of the evidence, Judge Olann Kelleher said, “I am very familiar with the case. It was unusual. She hid in the house. She escaped. He came back again in defiance of court orders.”
Judge Kelleher said the presence of a dagger in the footwell of the car in the circumstances was concerning.
Mr Kelleher, solicitor, said it was an ornamental weapon brought home from a Spanish holiday and the accused had forgotten that it was even in the car.
Garda David Ahern said the complainant moved house after the first safety order breach on February 13.
However, on Sunday night (February 19) he turned up outside his wife’s mother’s address looking for her.
“On the arrival of gardaí he was exiting his vehicle. He was highly intoxicated and extremely agitated. The vehicle began rolling on a slope. I had to get in and pull up the handbrake. As I did I saw an object in the footwell of the front passenger seat. It turned out to be a dagger.
“He acknowledged it was there, that it was his. His excuse was that he had it ‘for fighting knackers’. His wife was absolutely terrified,” Garda Ahern said.
The defendant said in a court appearance soon after the February 19 incident, he was breaching his bail but that he just wanted to speak to his wife. “I can’t understand what is after happening. I don’t understand how it got this far with her. We are married at least 20-odd years. We were on holidays a few weeks ago.
“When I’m good I’m good. When I drink I gets angry — not towards her. I shouts. No physical,” the defendant said.
When it was put to him that he said something different to the guards — about having the knife for fighting, he said, “I was just throwing out things. I was angry. I never did any harm to that woman. I looked after her. She looked after me.”
Reminded of saying that he had it ‘for fighting knackers’, he said, “Oh that was a lie.”
Judge Olann Kelleher acknowledged the attitude now shown by the defendant but said a custodial sentence had to be imposed.