Tuesday 22 January 2019

Wife 'poisoned protein powder with paracetamol', husband claims in court

Stock picture
Stock picture

Gordon Deegan

A father has told a court that his wife “tried to finish me off” by poisoning his protein powder.

During a successful barring order application against his wife at the family law court in Ennis, Co Clare, the man said that his wife “tried to kill me” when mixing crushed paracetamol tablets with his whey powder in August of this year.

The gym enthusiast said that the only thing that saved him when tasting the contaminated whey powder in a water mix “was that it was so vile after taking the first slug out of the bottle, I didn’t drink any more”.

In the witness box, the man said: “If I had drank it all and I was on the motorway, I could have got dizzy, conked out - whatever. I’m afraid of my life that I wouldn’t be here for my kids.”

The man said that he and his wife enjoyed “a normal marriage" and full of the usual ups and downs until the last two years when “something changed in my wife and she seemed to be on a track on trying to damage and harm me in any way she could”.

The man said that his wife has accused him of having an affair with his own sister and a work colleague.

He said: “My wife had told that she hates me, she wants me dead and she is going to get rid of me and her behaviour had become more violent and vicious”.

He said that his wife was roaring down the house “that I was having sex with my older sister”.

Addressing Judge Patrick Durcan and breaking down and sobbing, the man said: “I am a good Dad and I love my kids. I want to be here as long as I can and the fact that someone that I loved since the day I met her would decide to poison me…”

He continued to say: “My kids could have ended up without me. I don’t care about houses. I don’t care about money. I don’t care about anything. I want to be able to love my kids and be here for my kids.

“That is why I have asked for the barring order judge because I am afraid that something else will happen. I am in fear of my life and my children’s lives.”

In the case, Judge Durcan granted the man and the couple’s children a barring order for 12 months against the woman.

The wife wept as Judge Durcan made his order and he said that the woman “did terrible things” to her husband “and things which could have had fatal and very dangerous consequences for the man and for his son if his son had availed of the substance”.

Judge Durcan said that the return of the woman to the family home “at this point in time would have a serious effect on the welfare of this family”.

Asked about mixing the crushed paracetamol tablets with the whey powder, the wife said in the witness box: “I did a stupid thing and I will regret it for the rest of my life.

“I wasn’t trying to kill him like he said. If I wanted to kill him I would have put a load in.”

She added: “I did it to make him sick because he made me sick. He was at me and at me and at me and I just wanted it to stop.”

She said that she crushed six to eight paracetamol tablets and mixed that with the whey powder.

Her solicitor, Frank Doherty told the court that his client put “in a very minimal amount of paracetamol. She will admit that she did do it, but she was at the end of her line at that stage. It was the final straw with the pressure he put on her.”

The woman was admitted into psychiatric care the same day last month that she admitted her plot when her husband became suspicious over the whey powder.

The court heard that she tried to take her own life during the Summer.

Solicitor for the husband, Ann Gillane read out a text message that the man’s wife sent to him three days after she was admitted to psychiatric care at the start of last month.

The text read: “I am so sorry for everything. I know we are finished after what I have done but I couldn’t take any more after that text. I know you won’t believe me but all I wanted to do was upset your stomach."

“I went to throw it (the contaminated whey powder) away the day before, but I forgot. I just feel that everyone is at me. You will never know how sorry I am. Tell the children I love them and don’t reply. I am not able for it. I am so sorry.”

The husband told the court that he made a statement to Gardai the same day his wife admitted to contaminating the whey powder.

He said: “The Guards searched the house and my wife’s car. A Detective Sergeant is leading the investigation and they have taken the powder away for analysis and the results have not come back yet.”

Mr Doherty said that the husband had put terrible pressure on his wife to sign a bond connected to their children’s finances.

The husband denied that changing the locks on the house while his wife was in psychiatric care was connected to keeping his wife locked out of the home after she was discharged from care. The woman is currently staying with a relative after spending a number of weeks in psychiatric care.

In making the barring order, Judge Durcan said that the woman admitted to doing terrible things “and I have no medical evidence assuring me on medical grounds that she might not do terrible things again”.

Judge Durcan said that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the safety and welfare of the applicant and the children “would be compromised if an order was not made”.

Judge Durcan said that the evidence in the case “made for very sad hearing” and the evidence from the husband and wife “was emotional and distressing to listen to”.

He said that the woman was stressed to the point of attempting suicide, suffering from a very severe related psychiatric illness "and where she did things of a grievous nature that she accepts were dangerous and wrong”.

Judge Durcan said that the husband put his wife “under severe pressure and that pressure was unrelenting and persistent and that was what led to many of the problems in this relationship”.

In evidence, the husband told of the lead up to and the moment that his wife admitted to tampering with the whey powder.

He said that “something didn’t sit right with me” after his daughter told him the previous night that her mother had spilled some of the contents of the whey power onto the kitchen floor.

The husband cut his morning gym session short and returned home to retrieve the thrown out whey powder from the bins.

He said: “I found the black refuse sack and placed a couple of handfuls of the powder in an envelope to be analysed.

“My wife came along and asked me ‘What are you doing?’

“I told her I was taking it away to be analysed and she started roaring and telling me 'I only meant to make you sick’.

“I asked what she had put in the powder and she told me baby powder.”

The man said that he learned later that day it was crushed paracetamol tablets after his GP called him. He said that the two share the same GP and his wife had told the GP that day what she did.

He said: “I was called in to give bloods to make sure that my liver function wasn’t affected and my blood tests showed some raised liver function.”

The man said that in one row in March of this year his wife dug her nails into his face until they drew blood and produced photos in court of his face after the incident.

He said that over the last couple of years, his wife has developed a major problem with alcohol.

The man said that the night before his wife admitted to contaminating the whey powder the two of them sat down in their bedroom and both cried after his wife said that she was sorry for everything.

He said: “I explained to my wife that counselling hadn't worked but given fact that we married a long time, I prepared to give it a go. She asked me for a hug and there was a weight lifted off my shoulders.

"We were together a long time, we were good old buddies and after that there was a spring in my step and I thought there was a glimmer of hope.”

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