Limerick woman went on Christmas break with her former partner despite threats

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Being cross-examined by solicitor John Herbert, the witness accepted she had travelled away from Limerick for a number of days with his client

Being cross-examined by solicitor John Herbert, the witness accepted she had travelled away from Limerick for a number of days with his client

A WOMAN who told gardai she was in fear of her former partner when he called to her home went on a mini-break with him less than a fortnight later, a court in Limerick has heard.

The 34-year-old was prosecuted after the woman made a formal complaint to gardai that he had breached the terms of a safety order on separate dates last November and December.

The defendant, who has two young children with the woman, spent a week in custody earlier this month after he was refused bail following a garda objection when he was arrested and charged.

In evidence during a contested hearing, the woman claimed she received threatening phone calls from her former partner on November 28, last.

“He said he was going to slit my throat and that he would come to my property and burn my house,” she said.

The second incident, she claimed, occurred on December 27 when he called to her home on the outskirts of the city and began shouting abuse while banging on the door.

“I felt very nervous,” she told Inspector Paul Reidy. “I felt like he was going to kick in the door and seriously harm me,” she added.

Being cross-examined by solicitor John Herbert, the witness accepted she had travelled away from Limerick for a number of days with his client and their children in early December. Mr Herbert also put it to the woman that she also stayed with his client for several days at his home in the city following their return.

While the defendant’s mother gave evidence supporting Mr Herbert’s contention, she accepted she was not in a position to give evidence in relation to the allegations before the court.

Judge Marian O’Leary was told more than a dozen complaints were made to gardai last year and Mr Herbert put it to the complainant that she has a propensity to make complaints “when it suits you”. The woman denied that she spends time with her former partner insisting her only dealings with him relate to their children.

Seeking to have the charges dismissed, Mr Herbert said there was a clear contradiction in the evidence before the court – particularly relating to the second incident as his client denies calling to the house. He suggested the woman had told lies and  that “at best her evidence is coloured”.

Inspector Reidy said the woman had given evidence of being put in fear by the defendant and submitted there was a case to answer.

Having considered the matter, Judge Marian O’Leary said she was not satisfied the State had reached the necessary threshold to prove its case.

Dismissing the charges, she commented she had seen the pair “more often than anybody else last year”.

She also expressed surprise that no formal access arrangements are in place relating to their children.