Friday 9 December 2016

Husband raped, assaulted and threatened to kill his wife as marriage broke down, court told

Conor Gallagher

Published 14/06/2016 | 16:55

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A man has gone on trial accused of raping, assaulting and threatening to kill his wife as their marriage was breaking down.

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The jury will hear evidence that the 42-year-old accused threatened his wife with a knife and raped her after she said she was leaving him, the prosecution said.

The woman obtained a barring order against the accused but the threats allegedly continued. The couple would meet occasionally to discuss the care of their young son but their meetings did not go well and the accused allegedly threatened to kill the woman, the court heard.

He has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, assault causing harm and five counts of threats to kill or cause serious harm between May 24 and August 1, 2014. The court heard he has already pleaded guilty to a count of assaulting his wife with a hammer in August 2014.

Prosecuting counsel Mary Rose Gearty SC said the couple met in the early 2000s and married shortly after.

The woman worked in a senior position in her organisation and was gradually taking on more responsibilities when her husband lost his job. This caused the couple to start fighting, Ms Gearty said.

Counsel said there would be evidence that on the day of their child's birthday the couple had an argument and the accused head-butted the woman. Gardaí later interviewed the accused but he denied head-butting her and suggested she may have hit her head off a counter.

Later that month the woman told the man she was leaving him and they were going to have to get a separation. He allegedly told her she couldn't leave him and threatened to cut her with a knife.

He is accused of then stripping naked and telling her she must have sex with him before raping her. The woman was shaking and was forced to promise she would not leave him, counsel said.

The next day she went to a garda station and the Family Court where she was granted a barring order against the accused. A short time later he rang her at her parent's house and said “you're dead”, it is alleged.

In the following weeks the woman would meet with her husband to discuss the care of their son and so the accused could visit the boy. Counsel said these meetings did not go well and the alleged threats continued. During one alleged incident the accused said “next time I'll bring a hammer.”

Ms Gearty said there would be evidence that the accused would contact the woman and let her know he knew exactly where she was, including while she was on a foreign holiday.

When he was later interviewed by gardaí he denied raping or assaulting the woman.

The first prosecution witness gave evidence that on June 9, 2014 he was arriving at the car park of his workplace when he saw a man bothering a woman who was sitting in the driver's seat of a car.

The man was frantically pulling at the handle of the locked car door, he said. He walked over and the man noticed him and ran away.

He asked the alleged victim if she was ok but she was “really really upset”. “She was nearly in tears. I think she wanted to say something to me, she could barely talk,” he said.

The woman worked in the same workplace but he didn't know her. Two days later she asked him if he would make a statement to gardai about the incident. The court heard he did make a statement when gardai contacted him three months later.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy and a jury of eleven men and one woman.

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