Tuesday 21 January 2020

'That was the devil, not my son' says elderly mother after attack

'Take a last look at your garden - it is the last time you are going to see it, because I am going to kill you now' - Woman "petrified" of her son after series of assaults

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Stock picture

Gordon Deegan

A court heard how a man pinned his elderly mother by the neck and threatened to murder her, saying: "Take a last look at your garden - it is the last time you are going to see it, because I am going to kill you now."

The attack was one of a series of assaults that took place at the woman's home on July 27.

At the Family Law Court in Ennis, Co Clare, the mother - aided by a walking stick to the witness box - spoke about the assaults.

The woman, in her late 70s, said: "It wasn't my son, it was the devil himself that came into him that day."

As her son made the threats, he heard his phone ring and ran upstairs to answer it, she said. This gave her time to escape. "God was with me that day," she told the court. "He let go of me and ran up the stairs to answer his phone. I seized that moment to run out the door."

Neighbours brought the woman to hospital, where she remained for two-and-a-half weeks and spent a further two weeks in a convalescent home recovering from her injuries.

She said: "I was covered black and blue from the head down from being rammed against everything he could ram me against and my feet never touched the floor.

"I had fractured ribs front and back. A broken collar bone. I just felt like a rag doll."

The woman also required oxygen after one of her lungs deflated as a result of internal injuries sustained. She told Judge Marie Keane: "Recovery will be slow."

The woman was giving her evidence during an application for a barring order against her son.

Judge Keane granted the barring order for the maximum three years allowed and said that the woman was victim to "profound violence during a very serious incident".

The parties involved cannot be named as the case was before the Family Law Court.

The woman said that she remained "petrified" of her son and said that there had been no contact from him since the assault.

She told the court she had been asking her son to leave the home for the past 17 years.

On July 27, she showed her son an article in a newspaper which reported that she would be entitled to a grant to put in a downstairs toilet if she was living by herself.

She said: "It is badly needed. There is only a toilet upstairs. When I pointed it out, I said, 'you know what mum has been trying to tell you all along, love, and there it is in the paper'.

"He then came at me like a wild animal, like a rabies dog attacking me."

She recalled: "He picked me up, holding me by the neck, and held me up in the air and started bashing me off the wall, the fridge, threw me through a glass door.

"I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I went through that day. He was like a madman, his face was as red as red."

An interim barring order was secured against the man on August 21 and he is now out of the home. The woman returned to her home last week.

The man was notified of the court hearing, but failed to show.

Asked if her son had any issues, the woman said: "His uncontrolled temper. I believe my son is in urgent need of medical attention."

Irish Independent

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