Row over passport led to complaint to Limerick gardai

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

The alleged injured party told Limerick District Court she contacted gardai as there were a “few different incidents” involving her ex-partner

The alleged injured party told Limerick District Court she contacted gardai as there were a “few different incidents” involving her ex-partner

A MAN who repeatedly telephoned his former partner at her place of work was acquitted of breaching a protection order after a judge in Limerick ruled there was no evidence that he had put her in fear.

The 29-year-old defendant, who has an address on the outskirts of the city, was prosecuted on foot of a complaint which was made to gardai on August 10, 2017.

The alleged injured party told Limerick District Court she contacted gardai as there were a “few different incidents” involving her ex-partner over the previous few weeks and that she “just got sick of it”.

Judge Mary Larkin was told there have been difficulties between the pair since they broke up and that matters worsened when she refused to hand over their son’s passport ahead of a holiday which he had booked with the now eight-year-old.

The woman said she had retained the passport as her former partner had failed to comply with an order – made in the family law courts – which required him to do a number of things before going on the holiday.

She told Inspector Dermot O’Connor the defendant was “getting aggressive” when he phoned her at work as he was “freaking out” over not getting the passport.

She said he was verbally abusive and called her “every name under the sun”.

Being cross-examined by solicitor Andrew D’Arcy, the woman agreed the protection order has been in place for over two years and that she has never sought to secure a safety order which would be the norm in family law matters.

Mr D’Arcy put it to the woman that she had “chosen to deny him a holiday” in retaliation for the break-down in the access agreement which was in place.

The woman said she stood by her decision adding that Tusla – the child and family agency –  are now involved as the matter was referred to them by gardai.

Mr D’Arcy said his client is “not a threatening person generally” and he submitted there was no evidence that he had made any specific threats or put his former partner in fear.

Judge Larkin agreed saying there was no evidence as to the specifics of what was said on the date the complaint was made or that the alleged injured party had been put in fear by the defendant.

Dismissing the charge, the judge noted the family law matter is due before her again in the coming weeks.