Judge says child is real loser after parents’ split

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Judge Marian O'Leary dismissed the charge
A JUDGE has described the bitter relationship between an estranged couple as a tragedy for their young son saying he is the real loser.

A JUDGE has described the bitter relationship between an estranged couple as a tragedy for their young son saying he is the real loser.

Judge Marian O’Leary made her comments at Limerick District Court after she found the father of the child not guilty of breaching the terms of a safety order.

In her evidence, the mother of the young boy claimed her ex-boyfriend had verbally abused her during an incident at a fast food restaurant on the outskirts of the city last June.

She said the abuse was levelled at her during a pre-arranged meeting between the pair to hand-over their child for court-ordered 
access.

She alleged he accused her of being childish and called her a “smack head” and that he made hand-gestures towards her.

She also claimed that his mother had to physically restrain him when he tried to run after her when she left the restaurant.

During the proceedings, Judge O’Leary was told the woman was granted a safety order in November 2012 following the break-up of the relationship, which was described as “fractious”.

In his evidence, the defendant denied shouting and roaring at the woman or running after her.

He insisted he has never breached the terms of the safety order and the court was told on two separate occasions in the past he was found not guilty after he was prosecuted following compaints from his ex.

Solicitor Darach McCarthy, representing the defendant, said his client was only recently granted guardianship of the child following a three-year-court battle.

In their evidence, both the defendant and his former partner told the court there was very little chance of them reconciling given the toxic nature of the relationship.

Having considered the evidence, Judge O’Leary dismissed the charge saying: “I have to have a doubt”.

After the verdict was handed down the woman, who was accompanied by her sister, stormed out of courtroom.