herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Jilted husband stabbed ex-wife with bread knife

A MAN who repeatedly stabbed his ex-wife in the stomach with a bread knife he had originally been planning to kill himself with has been jailed for six years.

Clive Kearns (59), Ballybrack, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm to Ms Dorothy Gilsenan on January 17, 2008 at her then home in Whitechurch Avenue, Rathfarnham, Co Dublin.

Ms Gilsenan sustained three stab wounds to her stomach and two to her arms but has since made a "miraculous recovery" after she had to undergo surgery to repair both muscle and nerve damage.

Judge Katherine Delahunt, at the Circuit Criminal Court, said the victim impact report made for sad reading and Ms Gilsenan continues to be traumatised by the attack. She noted Kearns had medical problems at the time and was depressed after his wife left him. However, she added he had shown very little remorse for his crime.

Garda Paul Shaw told Tara Burns, prosecuting, that the couple had split up in Easter 2007 and Ms Gilsenan had moved out of the family home.

He said the following September Kearns sought medical attention for suspected prostate cancer but he got the "all clear" on January 14, 2008, and was in contact with his ex-wife to inform her of the prognosis.

Three days later, Ms Gilsenan returned to her rented home in Rathfarnham to find Kearns sitting outside the house.

He told her that she had to come back to him because he was sick.

When she replied that he had been given the all clear, he told her that he had "some problem" with his blood count.

Kearns then accused her of having a relationship with someone else before he produced the knife and stabbed her three times in the stomach.

Garda Shaw said Ms Gilsenan also sustained cuts to her arms, which she had used in an attempt to protect herself during the attack.

Ms Gilsenan was let into the house by her housemate after he witnessed the attack.

He sat her down in the kitchen, gave her a towel to stem the bleeding and called an ambulance.

This man returned minutes later to the kitchen and found Kearns hitting the victim.

He put the accused out of the house and Kearns was still sitting on an outside wall when gardai arrived to investigate the incident. Kearns told the gardai: "I did it. I stabbed her."

He went on to say that he believed his ex-wife had been having an affair and he was finding it difficult to cope without her.

He said he had been feeling suicidal and had been prescribed anti-depressants before he took one of the pills in the presence of the gardai.

Kearns said he had come to his ex-wife's home to speak to her and to try to get her to come back to him.

He had taken the knife with him from his home and carried it on the bus.

He said he was intending to use it to kill himself if Ms Gilsenan had refused to come back to him.



counselling

Ms Burns said a victim impact statement indicated that Ms Gilsenan has had extensive counselling to help her deal with the attack. She felt very unsafe and nervous for a long period and stopped work due to her injuries. She has since moved out of Dublin and is living in the North where she has resumed employment.

Garda Shaw agreed with Erwan Mill-Arden, defending, that his client had no previous convictions and had never come to garda attention. Mr Mill-Arden handed in a number of reports to the judge that included three psychiatric reports.

hnews@herald.ie

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