Saturday 19 August 2017

Gardaí forced to change nappies and cook dinner for children following alleged kidnapping, court told

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Conor Gallagher

Gardaí were forced to change nappies and cook dinner for several children after their mother was allegedly kidnapped from her home, a trial has heard.

When gardaí arrived at the scene there were “children everywhere” and no one to mind them at the Longford home, a trial heard. The mother had allegedly just been kidnapped by her partner a short time after she obtained a barring order against him.

Her partner and the father of the children, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, false imprisonment, breaching a barring order and production of an article in November 2015 and four counts of assault causing harm between 2011 and 2015.

The court has heard the woman took the children and left her partner in 2015 after five years of what she alleges was extreme violence and threats. They moved in with the woman's sister and her children before she obtained an order from the district court forbidding the accused from coming near her new home.

On day two of the trial a local sergeant said he was in touch with the 29-year-old woman and had been called to the house when the accused was seen in the area. He also advised the accused of the consequences for him if he breached the barring order.

The woman previously told the jury that she was cooking dinner in the house and minding her and her sister's children when the accused came in the back door. He allegedly picked the woman up and brought her to a waiting car which sped away.

The woman's niece gave evidence that she ran to neighbour's house to raise the alarm and the gardaí were called. The sergeant said that when he arrived he found a scene of general disorder with children crying. He said it took a long time to figure out what had happened.

The house was kept in very good condition, he said, but there were children everywhere. “Everywhere you looked there was a child,” he told prosecuting counsel Brendan Grehan SC.

Gardaí could not get in touch with the woman's sister who was out at the time. They later learned her phone battery had died.

The sergeant said he and his colleagues got dinner ready for the children, changed their nappies and minded them until the sister came home. He said he later learned the complainant had fled to safety and the accused had been arrested.

Michael Bowman SC, defending, put it to the alleged victim during cross-examination that the accusations of rape and assault were not true. She said they were.

She agreed with counsel that she did love the accused at one time.

“He could change, he could be as nice as pie to me,” she said. “He could be the best partner in the world and then he could just change.”

Referring to a specific allegation, Mr Bowman said that “while there were certainly difficulties in the relationship and it was far from perfect, my client does not accept he threatened you with a knife or carried out the other four assaults you mentioned.”

The woman replied that “This is a man who dangled me over a river after I gave birth to my babies.”

The woman agreed with counsel that her partner made her beans and toast during the alleged kidnapping but said that this was because she was so upset and “he saw the state of me.”

The trial continues before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury.

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