Tuesday 16 January 2018

Pregnant woman claimed ex-boyfriend poured a kettle of boiling sugared water over her in jealous rage

Cork Courthouse
Cork Courthouse
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A YOUNG woman said she was 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-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 majority verdict in the case.

Judge O'Brien discharged the jury.

He said they will now await instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) over the matter.

Mr Lynch had denied the assault which his pregnant girlfriend claimed occurred as she was watching an episode of the hit BBC soap opera, '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.

Ms Byrd told the trial the defendant said he would kill her and bury her body in the woods if she ever cheated on him.

The court heard the couple had known each other since Ms Byrd was 19.

They began a relationship in March 2015.

They were only going out a short time when Ms Byrd became pregnant.

She told the trial Mr Lynch became very controlling of her movements and who she met.

On June 7, she said the defendant had warned her not to go to their local pub to meet friends.

The following month, they went camping outside the village of Crosshaven.

However, she said that Mr Lynch warned her not to look at a young man who happened to be in staying in the same area.

The defendant confronted his girlfriend about the same young man three days later on July 21.

Ms Byrd said she was watching 'Eastenders' at their Cork home when the defendant challenged her.

"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. I was shaking with the agony. He told me to take off my clothes. He put cold water on it. I couldn't handle it because the pain was unreal."

Ms Byrd said the pain was so bad she was pleading with her boyfriend to allow her to attend hospital.

But she said he put a cotton T-shirt over her leg and kept putting cold water and ice over it.

"I was there all night in that constant agony. He told me that if he found me cheating he would kill me and bury me in the woods."

"I believed him because of what he was after doing to me."

She said she eventually attended a Cork hospital the following day and told staff the burn injuries were the result of an accident.

Ms Byrd said she had not told what really happened because she was in fear of Mr Lynch.

She claimed he had also made threats against her friends and family.

However, two days later she quit her home and sought assistance at Edel House in Cork.

Mr Lynch, in a subsequent garda interview, had insisted the incident was an accident.

He said brought his girlfriend for medical attention just 10 minutes after a half cup of boiling water had spilled on her at their home.

He had insisted the boiling water had accidentally fallen on her because a kettle was on "a bit of a slope" on a kitchen counter-top.

The defendant opted not to give evidence during the trial.

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