Manuela's killer tried to strangle his ex-partner
Published 25/03/2010 | 05:00
THE rapist Gerald Barry, who murdered Swiss teenager Manuela Riedo also tried to strangle his former partner, it was revealed in court yesterday.
Barry (29), who is serving three life sentences for the murder of the 17-year-old Swiss student and the rape of a 21-year-old French student in Galway in 2007, had denied assaulting his former partner, Melissa Maughan, and a child at Ms Maughan's home.
Galway District Court heard that Barry, a native of St James Crescent in Mervue, had broken into Ms Maughan's home in Galway city and threatened to kill her and a child.
Ms Maughan told the court that Barry came in through her bedroom window at about 6am on August 3, 2007. He pushed her around the room, demanding money.
He then pushed her head and it struck the head of a small child, which in turn hit the bedroom wall.
"He put his hands around my throat and tried to strangle me", Ms Maughan said.
"He was just demanding money off me and said the guards took his car and that it was all my fault. . . He had his arms around my neck, trying to choke me."
Garda Frank Hannon said Ms Maughan made a complaint that Gerry Barry had put his fist to her face and threatened to kill both her and the child.
Ms Maughan told him Barry had run off across fields. Gda Hannon conducted a search, but could find no trace of him.
Barry told the court the allegations were "nonsense", adding: "It didn't happen."
He denied breaking into the house and insisted he had called to the door and that Ms Maughan had opened it. Barry said he was living there at the time.
He said Ms Maughan was giving out because he had been out so late and that she told him to go back to whoever he had been drinking with.
"She started going mad, screaming and pulling her hair out and I left," he said.
Three days previously, she had broken the windows of his car with a hammer because she had not been invited to a party that he had attended, he said.
However, Judge Mary Fahy said that while there was a conflict, the weight of evidence was in favour of the complainant.
Barry had earlier pleaded guilty to seven other charges, including assaults on two gardai, a breach of a protection order and a number of public-order offences.
The judge imposed total sentences for all nine charges of 24 months -- the maximum for the District Court.
She recalled the sentencing judge in the Central Criminal Court making certain recommendations as he felt Barry would be a risk to all women in the future.
Judge Fahy said she would hear a submission from the DPP on April 21 as to whether her sentences should be concurrent or consecutive.