Retired garda denies he sought court safety order against wife in light of rape allegation

On day four of the trial at the Central Criminal Court, the defendant gave evidence from the witness box
Retired garda denies he sought court safety order against wife in light of rape allegation

Declan Brennan

A retired garda has denied that he sought a court safety order against his wife so that he could argue that her later allegation of rape was in response to the court order.

The 60-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to raping his wife in her bedroom at their family home in Leinster on a date in July 2018. Neither the defendant nor the complainant can be identified in accordance with the 1981 Rape Act.

On day four of the trial at the Central Criminal Court, the defendant gave evidence from the witness box. He told his defending counsel John Fitzgerald SC that the marriage had started out well initially, but it was volatile and there were “up and downs” and by 2018 they were on the verge of separating.

He said that while he was a calm person, his wife was volatile, argumentative and combustible. He said he was subservient to her.

He denied her allegation that he had subjected her to emotional and psychological abuse and said that in fact he was the one subjected to that abuse.

He denied having ever called her names like “jam-bag” or “c**t” and said he would never speak like that.

'Character assassination'

He said that the alleged rape in July 2018 never happened and was a complete fabrication. He appeared upset when he told Mr Fitzgerald: “I can't understand how a human being could have made such an allegation against me and destroyed our lives unnecessarily”.

“It's appalling. It's unforgivable. How could somebody to that to an innocent person. It is character assassination.”

He said that on September 2nd, 2018 he arrived at the house on his bicycle having stayed the weekend with his sister. He said he often left the house for days because of the volatile situation there.

He said on this occasion his wife met him and she was extremely angry and asked him “where the f**k were you?”

He told the jury that she had a mobile phone in her hand and she hit him three times in the face with the phone in her hand. He said he could feel a back tooth breaking and told her this, and he said she replied “I don't give a f**k”.

He said he cycled off again and decided then to report the incident to gardaí. He said he did this to protect himself and his children, but he did not proceed with a criminal complaint because he did not want the family name in the papers.

Protection order

On September 4th, he sought a protection order from the district court and this was granted. He said a few weeks later a family dentist repaired the tooth with a filling.

Under cross-examination by Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, the man said that his wife had assaulted him in the past and had spat at him. He agreed that he had never sought a safety order before, and agreed that “to all these insults you just hunkered down”.

The complainant has testified that a week after the alleged rape, she confronted him about it and he told her “something is coming”. The defendant said that this conversation never took place and denied that he planned events coming up to the protection order.

Counsel put it to the defendant that as a former garda, he had a knowledge of the legal system which he could use, but the witness said he had no prior knowledge of the family law system.

Asked if it was a “complete coincidence” that he took out the order five weeks after the alleged rape took place, he said: “I was assaulted, I sought the protection of the courts, there was no rape”.

Mr Gageby put it to him that taking out the protection order provided him with the ability to say that the allegation of rape, which was made in the days after the order was served, was a response to getting the order.

“If you get the protection order in the knowledge that she hasn't complained, then she complains about rape, you can say, this is all about the protection order,” Mr Gageby asked. The witness said he was in fear and wanted to protect himself.

“You weren't in great fear of her making a rape complaint were you?” counsel asked. The defendant replied: “I thought she was going to make some kind of a complaint, yes”.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Karen O'Connor and a jury.

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