herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

'Arrogant' pilot flew into rage and threatened his wife with 'deadly' martial arts move

COURT: Dad claimed victim racially abused new partner

AN airline pilot who subjected his estranged wife to a "terrifying" assault has been convicted of breaching a safety order.

Keith Ashmore (40) struck the woman several times in an incident in south Dublin in which she feared he was going to use a martial arts move on her that he previously told her could kill somebody.

Victim Lisa Temple told a court how she feared for her safety during the attack at Ashmore's brother's home in Dartry. He had also frightened her during a previous incident at a friend's house in Ballsbridge.

Ashmore, a father-of-two, was convicted of two counts of breach of a safety order granted by the courts to Ms Temple. Judge Aeneas McCarthy said Ashmore's own evidence had been "arrogant and self-serving" and that he would be jailed for six months if he breached the order again.

The accused, of Beechwood Court, Stillorgan, had denied the charges, claiming Ms Temple had attacked him and racially abused his new partner.

Dublin District Court heard the first incident happened at the home of a friend of the victim, Anne Riordan, at Waterloo Place, Ballsbridge on March 11.



Threatening

The accused and Ms Temple were there by arrangement when both their mobile phones went missing. Ashmore accused Ms Temple of having his phone, shouting at her in a threatening manner. She ran downstairs and he followed her and grabbed her arms tightly.

"By the look on his face, I knew I was in severe danger", she said. "I was trying to struggle away, I said 'let go, don't touch me'." She said Ms Riordan intervened, saying: "Not in my house".

On June 16, they were at Ashmore's brother's house at St Kevin's Park, Dartry, again by arrangement. While she was at the front door, she said, the accused began to insult her, calling her "a piece of dirt and a w**re and saying "how pathetic" she looked. When she reminded him of the safety order, he "mimicked" her.

"He brought the palm of his hand up, which he had told me before could kill somebody because he had practiced martial arts", Ms Temple said. "I thought it was going to go into my face but it went into the centre of my chest and winded me".

She said the accused told her the safety order "meant nothing" and struck her on the arm before grabbing her hand and striking her on the face with it. He then pushed her out the doorway with his foot.

"I was sickened, I was devastated and I was terrified", she added. "He thinks a safety order is not relevant to an airline captain".

Ms Temple denied being the aggressor and racially abusing Ashmore's partner, saying she herself had lived in Asia for several years and had had a Japanese bridesmaid.

The accused said the earlier incident on the landing of the friend's house never happened. He said in the second incident, Ms Temple referred to his partner in a "racist and sexually offensive manner" and he told her to leave.

Ashmore alleged Ms Temple struck him several times on an ear that had been operated on following a perforated eardrum. He said he pushed her out the door because he was afraid of further damage to his ear and did so as gently as possible so as not to harm her. He denied all of Ms Temple's allegations and said "she was looking for trouble" on the evening.

Gardai said they saw red marks on Ms Temple at the scene. Ashmore had no previous convictions.

"I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he breached the safety order and that he assaulted his wife", Judge McCarthy said.

Defence solicitor Peter Mullan said Ashmore worked for an international airline.

Judge McCarthy adjourned the case for six months for a review of the situation and said if there was any evidence of Ashmore verbally or physically abusing his wife, he would jail him for six months.

"I treat domestic violence and assault on a spouse as I would an assault on anybody else, I don't make distinctions", the judge said.

aphelan@herald.ie

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