herald

Saturday 7 December 2019

'I'm prisoner in my home' - man who threatened to kill wife

Wedding rings and gavel
Wedding rings and gavel

A man who threatened to kill his wife in front of gardai has said he is a prisoner in his marriage.

The 60-year-old man told Ennis District Court: "For 15 years she has manipulated me. I can't go nowhere. I can't talk to my friends.

"I want a life. I am a prisoner. I am living in fear of her."

He said that "several times she had a knife in her hand and I had to lock myself into a room".

The man was giving evidence as part of a bail application after being charged with breaching a Safety Order secured by his wife.

A garda told the court that in an incident at the couple's home at the weekend, she heard the man say: "I'll kill her. I will burn the f**king house down tonight and you will know about it in the morning".

The man told the court: "I say things to put a bit of fear into her to stop her from attacking me. She tells me straight up she is not afraid of me.

"I didn't mean it one bit - it was just a game. I am more afraid of her than she is of me.

Crying

"She is not one bit afraid of me. She is not afraid of anyone. I just wanted her to stop."

Judge Marie Keane told the man that at a previous court appearance she gave him 12 months to sort out his life, asking: "What have you done?"

In response, the man said: "I have several times rang a man up the country to go for the divorce, but she starts crying and she says, 'Please I love you'."

The man's solicitor, Tara Godfrey, said: "My client really wants [his wife] to leave the house. He hadn't meant any of what he said and if he said it to gardai, he hoped they might get her to leave the house."

Ms Godfrey said that the two are separating.

Judge Keane said that she would remand the man in custody with consent to bail.

"The only reason I am giving bail is that you can instruct a solicitor, and you do what I told you last January, and get away from this woman," she said.

"It is absolute and utter nonsense. You are wasting the State's time, the court's time, and gardai."

She told him to have in court today details of a solicitor who is to issue divorce proceedings.

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