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Sunday 23 October 2016

Man on trial for raping his wife denies saying 'you f**ker' to gardai as they walked by him in court

Conor Gallagher

Published 22/06/2016 | 16:56

Dublin Central Criminal Court
Dublin Central Criminal Court

A man on trial for raping and assaulting his wife has denied being abusive to gardaí as they walked past him in the courtroom.

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The 42-year-old accused spent day seven of his trial in the Central Criminal Court giving evidence in his own defence. He denied raping, threatening and head-butting the woman as their marriage was breaking down in 2014.

He has already pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife with a hammer in August of that year. He told the jury today that he was “deeply sorry” for this attack and that it was out of character for him.

At the start of her cross-examination, prosecuting counsel Mary Rose Gearty SC asked him if he had said “you f**ker” to gardaí who gave evidence earlier in the trial.

She asked if he had said the words to one or both of the officers as they passed the defendant's area on their way to the witness stand. The accused replied that he “absolutely” did not.

He told Ms Gearty gardaí had broken two of his ribs when they arrested him after the hammer attack and he was brought to hospital the next day. He said he felt under pressure while being interviewed because of his injuries and because he had never been arrested before. Counsel said they would return to the issue.

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

The man told his defence counsel Padraig Dwyer SC that he met his wife in 1999 and they were very happy together until “something changed” after the birth of their child.

He said the marriage became strained because his wife was working too many hours and her family did not like him.

He said their child slept in the same bed as them and was breast-fed until the age of four. The accused said he had difficulties with this.

He said he wasn't invited into her parent's home until after their marriage and that when he was there he would be excluded from the conversation. He said he was very offended when his mother-in-law said he was not invited on a shopping trip to New York. “I am a shopaholic, I could spend days in the a shop,” he said.

He did not return to his in-laws home for two years after this. The accused told counsel his wife's parents disliked him from the start and blamed him for the break-down of their daughter's previous relationship and for his business failing.

He said there was also some money trouble in the marriage and his wife wanted to get a loan for home improvements against his wishes.

Regarding allegations that he head-butted his wife and told her to go upstairs and take off her clothes, he said he pushed her and she hit her head on a press, leaving a “tiny” scratch. He said he told her to go upstairs to put their son to bed.

He denied that, on another occasion, he soaked the living in flammable liquid before smoking a cigarette. He said he was not allowed smoke inside the house.

He further denied that he lay on top of his wife and told her he could rape her whenever he want.

“That absolutely never happened,” he said. “The first I heard of it was in this trial, I would never to my own wife use words like that.”

On the night of the alleged rape he denied threatening to cut her face off with a carving knife. He said he had a butter knife in his hand as he told his wife to go upstairs.

He said she went to bed and he stayed up for a few more hours before going to bed in a separate room.

The trial continues with the accused's cross-examination tomorrow/today (THURS) before Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy and a jury of eleven men and one woman.

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