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Ex-taxi driver beat wife then offered painkillers

A RETIRED taxi driver inflicted an "agonising" beating on his wife after complaining about "the state of the nation", then offered her two painkillers.

A court heard Desmond Heaney (64) rained punches on his now-estranged wife, dislocating her little finger and threatening to break her foot in the attack at their home.

The victim said she was afraid she was going to die during the assault, which happened after she poked Heaney in the stomach as a joke.

Earlier, he had been checking the news and woke her up with angry complaints about politics and the state of the country.

Heaney was given a six-month suspended sentence after he was found guilty of assault causing harm to his wife at their then home at Greenville Place, Clanbrassil Street, Dublin 8 on April 1, 2012.

Denying the charge, he claimed she had called him "useless" over unpaid debts, repeatedly poked him and tried to kick out at him, and that her injuries were sustained accidentally as he restrained her.

The victim told Dublin District Court he woke her late at night, giving out about the state of the country.



stomach

She got up and he told her she "didn't care about these things", before going to bed himself. After he got up, she began "messing" and poked him in the stomach once, as "just a joke".

"He stood up and punched me," she said. "Then he dislocated my little finger. He grabbed my right hand and bent back my little finger so much that it was out of place and I was in excruciating pain.

"He then went to the kitchen and gave me two paracetamol tablets. He got hold of my right foot and tried to twist it back; he said he was going to break it".

Garda Shane Dowling said the victim had bruises to her face, arms and legs and a fractured finger.

Heaney maintained his wife had come in while he had been checking his emails and the news late at night. He said she was "kind of vexed" with him.

At breakfast, he claimed, she started "giving out to me about the ESB bill" and told him: "You are useless, you are an old man, you are no good to me."

He alleged she poked him up to 20 times in the stomach with "pointed fingernails like blades".

He maintained he grabbed her lapels and slipped and fell on top of her.

He put his hands out to save himself and "might have touched her face slightly". She "must have got her finger caught in my stomach" and he was "shocked" when he saw it "disjointed".

aphelan@herald.ie