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Engineer who allegedly attacked his wife and threatened her with knife disarmed by off-duty garda, court hears

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A FRENCH engineer who allegedly attacked his wife and threatened her with a kitchen knife in their south Dublin home was disarmed by a passing off-duty garda who heard the woman's cries for help, a court heard.

Father-of-two Franck L'Amour (52) is accused of grabbing his wife by the throat, producing the knife and threatening to hurt her during a "serious domestic incident."

Judge John Cheatle granted him bail and adjourned the case when he appeared in Dublin District Court today.

Mr L'Amour is charged with assault causing harm to his wife and producing a kitchen knife with a three-inch blade while committing an assault.

The offences are alleged to have happened at their home at Bird Avenue in Clonskeagh on April 7.

Garda Alan Conlon told Dublin District Court he was objecting to bail, citing the seriousness of the alleged offences.

He said it was alleged the accused threatened his wife with a kitchen knife, repeatedly slapped her face and held her around the throat. It was alleged this caused bruising to her face and neck.

He said an off-duty garda was alerted by the woman's cries for help and intervened. The officer caught the accused "red-handed" and "in the act" of threatening his wife with a knife in the kitchen, before disarming and restraining him, Gda Conlon said.

He said the maximum penalty for each charge on conviction on indictment was five years in prison and there may be further serious charges brought.

The court heard the accused had been in the country since last September, and had come here with his wife and their two children.

The garda said it was alleged Mr L'Amour made numerous threats to hurt his wife and she had stated she was strongly in fear for her life.

Mr L'Amour's lawyer said the main garda objection seemed to be a fear that the accused would interfere with a witness - the alleged victim.

The garda agreed and said his objection was for "the preservation of life."

He agreed that the incident alleged was serious but it was "singular" and arose from a domestic situation.

Through an interpreter, the accused said he could stay in a hotel. Judge Cheatle said the accused's wife was concerned he would return to the house and attack her.

Mr L'Amour said he had been with his wife for 25 years and nothing had happened before.

The judge granted bail in his own bond of €1,000, half of which is to be lodged in cash. Under conditions, Mr L'Amour must observe a curfew between 9pm and 6am, have no contact directly or indirectly with the complainant, provide gardai with an address, remain of sober habits and stay out of the southside of Dublin.

He was remanded in custody with consent to bail, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on April 15.

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