Thursday 27 November 2014

Uncle threatened to kill me, woman tells forgery trial

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

Published 25/01/2013 | 05:00

A NIECE of two brothers at the centre of a forgery trial sobbed in court as she described how she fled to a phone box to dial 999 after one of her uncles threatened to kill her.

Amanda O'Leary (35), from Campile, Co Wexford, claimed her uncle, former New Ross businessman Charlie O'Leary, attacked her in a pub in 1999.

She was giving evidence at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court yesterday where her uncle, William O'Leary (49), of Kilhile, Arthurstown, New Ross, is on trial accused of forging a bachelor farmer's will.

Businessman Noel Hayes (59), of Ramsgrange, New Ross, is also charged with forging the will of his distant relative Matthew Hayes (82), on a date between December 25, 1998 and January 8, 1999.

Ms O'Leary told of an event in the Sportsman Inn in December 1999, when she claimed she was assaulted. Ms O'Leary said her uncle had pointed out that she was sitting in his chair after he returned from the bar's toilets. She said she gave him back the stool but he later "just turned around and said, 'Look at you with all that s**t on your face'".

Ms O'Leary said Charlie O'Leary was referring to her make-up. "I just said to him, 'Please don't speak to me like that'.

"He just turned around and caught me and the chair and the whole lot, and pushed me. I went flying off the chair and went straight into a glass panel," she told the court.

The young woman then said Charlie O'Leary brought her out of the pub "by the neck".

"I was crying. . . he kind of kicked open the door. . . He was still choking me."

She added: "I just remember one of the barmen saying, 'Jesus Christ Charlie, will you leave the girl alone'."

Report

She said her uncle then said: "If it takes me 20 years, I swear I will kill you."

The witness said she ran across the road to a phone box, where she dialled 999 to report the assault.

When questioned by the prosecution counsel Philip Sheahan about her evidence, Ms O'Leary explained that she returned from Madrid in Spain in 1999 to work for her two uncles in O'Leary International.

However, she said in her first week she was "sacked three times".

The trial, which continues before Judge Raymond Fullam, will hear closing arguments today.

Irish Independent

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