Thursday 8 December 2016

Man convicted of savage assault on wife despite her refusal to give evidence is to appeal

Ruaidhri Giblin

Published 07/06/2016 | 15:17

Siobhán Kelleher uses a walking stick as she arrives at Cork Criminal Court for the sentencing of her husband
Siobhán Kelleher uses a walking stick as she arrives at Cork Criminal Court for the sentencing of her husband

A Cork man given eight years for seriously assaulting his wife, who refused to give evidence against him at trial, is due to appeal his conviction in July.

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Anthony Kelleher (42), with a last address at Raleigh North, Macroom, Co Cork, had pleaded not guilty to assault causing serious harm to his wife Siobhán at their home in Macroom on June 12, 2014.

He was unanimously found guilty by a jury of nine men and three women at Cork Circuit Criminal Court and jailed for eight years by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin in May.

Kelleher had sought bail in the Court of Appeal today pending an appeal. However, State solicitor, Patrick Geraghty, told the three-judge court that his side had not received any paperwork grounding reasons why Kelleher should be given bail.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said the court could not force Kelleher's bail application to go ahead if the State could not respond.

He said the threshold required for bail would be difficult to meet but an early date was available on July 29 next.

Anthony Kelleher covering his face at an earlier hearing, inset
Anthony Kelleher covering his face at an earlier hearing, inset

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, directed that the preparation of trial transcripts be expedited and he listed the matter for mention on June 24 next to confirm July's hearing date.

Ms Kelleher had not given evidence against the then accused during his Cork Circuit Criminal Court trial in February but statements she had previously made to gardaí were admitted into evidence by the judge under a legal procedure known as section 16.

Counsel for Kelleher, Tom Creed SC, said the bulk of the appeal was based on section 16 statements and the judge's directions to the jury on those statements.

The lack of engagement with persons whose statements were going in was quite extraordinary, Mr Creed claimed without stating his case. There were refusals to answer questions and the judge did not give assistance, he added.

Submissions for Kelleher's appeal are due to be filed in two weeks and the State will have two weeks to respond thereafter.

The court was told that Kelleher's sister had “come all the way from Bantry” to post surety for her brother in the event that bail was granted.

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