Saturday 24 February 2018

Fred Forsey jnr had to pull wife and lover apart – court

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

THE former Fine Gael deputy mayor accused of accepting corrupt payments from a developer revealed how he had to separate his wife from his mistress as they pulled each other's hair, kicked and fought.

Fred Forsey Jnr (43), the former Dungarvan town councillor on trial at Waterford Circuit Court, told the jury yesterday about the moment his wife Jenny met his young lover, Karen Morrissey.

Mr Forsey also gave an account of how his mother-in-law threatened to stab him and "do time" if he didn't pay maintenance for his three children.

Mr Forsey, of Coolagh Road, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, denies receiving a total of €80,000 in corrupt payments from a property developer in 2006.

He told how his marriage crumbled under financial strains but insisted the funds he received from a developer were a loan -- and not corrupt payments.

He claimed his wife knew about this but "she lied" in court. He accepted that he had lied to the developer about "certain things".

Mr Forsey was close to tears for a few moments during his evidence as he admitted his children witnessed rows, and claimed his wife had said "tell the kids about the whore you are with".

He recalled the first time the two women met when Mrs Forsey arrived at the house which Fred Forsey was renting before Christmas 2006.

"She said, 'Oh you're Karen, the bitch who is ruining my life and ruining my kids' lives'. She just dived on her. I was trying to separate them."

Mr Forsey said his leg got caught on the couch and he fell as he tried to stop the two women fighting.

"She grabbed Karen, pulling her hair," he said before adding that the women were "shouting and roaring".

"Karen was scared," he added.

He said his estranged-wife went outside, roaring: "I will f**king kill you bastards" and "drove straight into the wall."

He said Mrs Forsey was crying and thought she had broken her wrist so he drove her to casualty.

After she was given the all-clear at the hospital, he said he dropped her home.

Hell

"She told me if I ever stepped into the house, she'd kill me." He said he told Jenny they would talk when she calmed down.

Mr Forsey said his wife knew "we were borrowing money" from the developer and he kept the loan agreement in the house.

He described telling his children how he was "really sorry" about what was "going on", acknowledging they must have been "going through hell".

His evidence detailed how there was "a lot of pressure with finances" as the marriage was breaking down.

He said he had always wanted to give the impression he was a "businessman" who was "doing well".

In relation to allegations that he was trying to influence the rezoning of lands on behalf of the developer, Mr Forsey said there was "not a hope in hell" that he could "possibly have anything to do with rezoning". "The only thing I wanted was jobs (for Dungarvan)."

He described the personal turmoil he was going through, stating he was a "nervous wreck" as he owed his wife €10,000 she had loaned him -- and was behind on the €350-a-week child maintenance.

Mr Forsey said he had initially asked the developer for €60,000 or €70,000 for an extension to his house so he could re-mortgage.

However, he said he was under pressure again in December and he asked the developer to loan him €10,000 "to carry me over".

He told him his marriage was over and he would pay him back once the house was sold.

Mr Forsey also told how he lived abroad in Australia and England, working various jobs with Ms Morrissey after he left his wife. He said he was "totally freaked out" and almost "had a stroke" when he had to spend the night in a cell after he travelled back to Waterford for a wedding in July 2009. He said he kept thinking the cell door would open and he could return to the wedding.

Mr Forsey said he intended to pay the developer back but admitted yesterday that he has not repaid any of the money.

He described a new business idea he had in Australia which stood to make him €2.1m in profit which would have allowed him to pay back the developer.

However, he said when the gardai had taken his passport after his arrest, he was unable to go to Australia to sign the contract. His cousin was representing him but he said the company "googled" his name and discovered he was facing a corruption charge and pulled out.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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