AN islander claimed the actions of his former partner left him feeling ‘terrified’.
In evidence at Skibbereen District Court this week, the man who (like his partner and their child) cannot be named for legal reasons, said: ‘When she is in a mood, when she is angry, she becomes intimidating, a bully and aggressive. I know from experience that she is liable to do anything, and I was afraid for myself and my daughter.’
The man, who was granted a barring order in June 2019, alleged that the woman’s behaviour in his island shop, coupled with the intimidating manner of her driving, and her use of offensive hand gestures, were all evidence of a breach of the barring order.
On the morning of October 3rd last, the man said, the woman accused him of recording their conversation in his shop.
He said that as she was leaving, she accused him of raping her, by saying: ‘The last time you sexually assaulted me was May 5th.’
He claimed she threatened him by saying ‘me and my people will destroy you’ and subsequently bumped her car against his.
Ken O’Sullivan, barrister for the accused, complained that the man’s evidence was rambling and not date-specific, and he said there were no witnesses to any of these alleged events.
Judge McNulty acknowledged that matters became heated after the woman applied for, and was refused, ‘a moving away order’. This is sought when one of the parents move the child from the family home.
The judge commented on the family law background on the strict condition that the parties were not to be identified.
He noted the age gap and how they became estranged after the birth of their child, yet continued to share a house for some years, saying: ‘They shared a house but they did not share a bed.’
The judge said the allegation of rape, or sexual assault, may have been made ‘in anger’ by the woman who previously claimed to have ‘felt physically, sexually and emotionally neglected by the man’.
The judge also suggested: ‘This was a time of high drama, tension and fraught emotions for both parties.’
He noted the man’s complaints that the woman had behaved irrationally, including a threat to kill him, and she was physically abusive too, having bit him on one occasion.
However, he said there was ‘no damage, no injury’ to the accused and that it would be unjust to convict the woman and so he dismissed the case against her.