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Tycoon and wife in court over violent bust-up at mansion

A BUSINESSMAN and his wife, who were arrested at their sprawling luxury home over domestic violence allegations they made against each other, have had their cases dismissed.

John Halpin (51) had alleged Regina (50) -- his wife of 30 years -- grabbed him by the hair and punched him in the face after insulting his dead father, a RAF hero who fought in World War Two.

Regina Halpin had claimed her husband made unfounded sexual allegations about her own father in the same incident.

She also maintained her husband "induced" their daughter Aisling (19) to give evidence on his behalf by buying her tickets to the rugby world cup in New Zealand.



VIOLENT

The couple were arrested at their 4,000 sq ft home on Howth's exclusive Windgate Road. Their cases were dismissed at Dublin District Court over technical errors made by the prosecuting gardai.

John Halpin had denied a charge of breaching a safety order while his wife pleaded not guilty to breaching a protection order in the incident on November 8, 2010.

Each defendant had accused the other of a history of violent behaviour and denied the others' claims. Judge John O'Neill said it was "a shame" the case had come to court and that he could not understand why the couple did not go for counselling.

Dublin District Court heard gardai went to the house following a complaint made by Mr Halpin and ended up arresting both.

Mr Halpin said he had returned from a business trip to Hong Kong three days earlier.

On the night, his 13-year-old son asked him for €5 and he told the boy to ask his mother instead because he was out of work.

He claimed she then produced a 45-year-old document alleging that his grandfather had "misappropriated funds" and followed him around reading from it. Their son became upset because he idolised his grandfather, and left the room.

Mr Halpin claimed his wife then pulled his hair and punched him.

He said Mrs Halpin had also called him a "failed businessman" and an "unsuccessful p***k". He explained that he had had a "tremendous business problem".



BONNET

Mrs Halpin claimed her husband began by verbally abusing her in front of their children, making unfounded allegations that her father was a "paedo-phile". He also said "let her go back to Finglas" -- because she had lived there for a short period as a child. She further alleged that he accused her of capitalising on her brother's illness -- he was dying in hospital. She claimed he then threatened he would call the gardai and tell them she had beaten him up.

Ms Halpin said she worked with people with special needs and would never assault anyone. She said her husband had had a drink problem for 22 years and she recalled him leaving their newborn daughter on the bonnet of his car and driving off.

Judge O'Neill dismissed the charges against both defendants after the prosecuting gardai failed to produce the relevant court orders.

aphelan@herald.ie