herald

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Woman cleared of threats to kill family

A WOMAN has been acquitted of threatening to kill members of her family after a judge directed that there was insufficient evidence.

Donna Whitehouse (21), of Dublin Street, Dundalk, Co Louth, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of threatening to kill or cause serious harm to three people, including an uncle and aunt of hers, at Balbriggan on November 16, 2009.

The jury heard evidence from those whom Ms Whitehouse was alleged to have threatened but Judge Donagh McDonagh said there was no evidence that she had intended to follow through on the threats.



Gesture

He said that there was no discernible evidence that Ms Whitehouse intended that the injured parties should believe the threat would be carried out.

Judge McDonagh said: "There is insufficient evidence to enable that inference to be drawn. The correct course of action on the three counts remaining is to enter verdicts of not guilty. The accused is found not guilty by direction of the trial judge."

Ms Whitehouse's uncle, Thomas Whitehouse, had given evidence that Ms Whitehouse had made a gun shaped gesture with her fingers towards him at Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan on November 16.

Conor Devally, defending, put it to Mr Whitehouse that he had told his client that she was going to end up in Mountjoy prison and that she hadn't made the gun-shaped gesture but Mr Whitehouse denied both these suggestions.

Martina Whitehouse, an aunt of Donna Whitehouse, told Martina Baxter, prosecuting, that she was driving to a garda station on November 16 with a friend, Ms Paula Hoey, when she met her niece.

She alleged that her niece then made threats against the two women.

Mr Devally said that when gardai arrested Donna Whitehouse she denied that she had made any of the threats.

When they asked her if Martina Whitehouse was living in constant fear, Donna Whitehouse replied: "If she was in constant fear she wouldn't be living two seconds away from us."

She also told gardai: "All the Whitehouses were as bad as each other."

hnews@herald.ie

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