Man 'poured boiling, sugared water on girlfriend in fit of jealousy'
Published 11/05/2016 | 02:30
A young woman said she was living in fear of her former boyfriend after she claimed he poured a kettle of boiling, sugared water over her in a fit of jealousy.
However, a Cork Circuit Criminal Court jury were unable to reach a verdict in the case of Michael Lynch (24), who vehemently denied assault causing harm to his then-pregnant girlfriend, Tara Byrd (25).
The jury of six men and six women deliberated for five hours over two days before informing Judge Gerard O'Brien they were unable to agree a verdict.
Mr Lynch had denied the assault which his girlfriend claimed occurred as she was watching an episode of 'EastEnders' at their Old Youghal Road home in Cork.
He had also denied threatening to kill Ms Byrd, who was four months' pregnant at the time, on July 21, 2015.
The court heard the couple had known each other since Ms Byrd was 19 and began a relationship in March 2015.
She told the trial Mr Lynch became very controlling of her.
On June 7, she said the defendant had warned her not to go to their local pub to meet friends.
The following month, she said Mr Lynch warned her not to look at a young man as the couple were camping.
The defendant confronted his girlfriend about the same young man three days later on July 21 as she was watching 'EastEnders' at home.
"He said he was going to boil a kettle of water with sugar in it and pour the sugared water on me," she said. "He put the sugar in the kettle and he boiled it.
"Then he said that if I screamed, he would hit me over the head with an iron bar. I was wearing pyjama pants at the time. He threw the kettle over my left leg and I was in agony.
"But I did not scream. He told me that if he found me cheating he would kill me and bury me in the woods."
The sugar in the water intensified the burning of the skin.
Mr Lynch, in a subsequent garda interview, insisted the incident was an accident. He now faces a possible retrial.