herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Manuela's killer tried to strangle his partner

BREAK-IN: Barry also threatened to murder child

THE rapist who murdered Swiss teenager Manuela Riedo Gerry Barry also tried to strangle his former partner.

Barry (29), who is serving three life sentences for the murder of 17-year-old Swiss student and the rape of a 21-year-old French student in Galway in 2007, had denied charges of assaulting former partner, Melissa Maughan and a child at Ms Maughan's home.

Galway District Court yesterday heard that Barry, a native of St James Crescent, in Mervue, had broken into Ms Maughan's home in Galway city during the night and had threatened to kill her and a child.

Ms Maughan told the court Barry had climbed on to the canopy over her front door and came in through her bedroom window at about 6am on August 3, 2007. He pushed her around the room, demanding money. He also pushed her head and it struck the head of a small child who was also in the room. The child's head, in turn, had struck the bedroom wall.

"He put his hands around my throat and tried to strangle me," Ms Maughan told Judge Mary Fahy.

"He was just demanding money off me and said the guards took his car and that it was all my fault ... my neck was sore. He had his arms around my neck, trying to choke me", Ms Maughan said.

Garda Frank Hannon said Ms Maughan had made a complaint that Gerry Barry had put his fist to her face and threatened to kill her and the child.

Ms Maughan had told him he had run off across fields and Garda Hannon said he conducted a search but could find no trace of Barry. For her own safety, he had urged Ms Maughan to make a statement, but she had (initially) declined, saying it had happened before and that Barry would not return.

In evidence, Gerry Barry described the assault allegations as "nonsense ... it didn't happen".

He denied breaking into the house and insisted he had called to the door and that Ms Maughan had opened it.

He had also been living there at the time.





Drinking

He said Ms Maughan was giving out because he had been out so late and told him to go back to whoever he had been drinking with.

"She started going mad, screaming and pulling her hair out and I left," he said.

Cross-examined by Garda Insp Sean Glynn, Barry said he had been at a party. He said the only the only thing that had upset Ms Maughan was she had not been invited to it.

Three days previously she had broken the windows of his car with a hammer because she had not been invited to a party that he had attended, he said.

"Because of me and who I am, the guards believed her," Barry told the court.

He told Judge Fahy he had called to get his dole money.

"It was my dole money. She collected my money -- am I not entitled to my money?" he asked. Judge Fahy said that while there was a conflict, the weight of evidence was in favour of the complainant.

Barry had earlier pleaded guilty to seven other charges, including assaults on two gardai, a breach of a protection order and a number of Public Order offences.

Judge Fahy imposed total sentences for all nine charges of 24 months -- the maximum for the District Court.

hnews@herald.ie

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