Saturday 20 January 2018

'He pulled me into the house and battered me senseless' - Businesswoman Norah Casey reveals abuse by former partner

Entrepreneur Norah Casey. Photo: Tony Gavin
Entrepreneur Norah Casey. Photo: Tony Gavin
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Businesswoman Norah Casey has shared her story of domestic violence at the hands of an ex- partner.

The former Dragon’s Den star spoke openly for the first time about the years of abuse she suffered in a previous relationship.

An emotional Ms Casey - speaking on Friday night's Late Late Show - revealed that she met this man while working as a nurse in London when she was in her twenties.

"We were a very unlikely match. I came to London with a friend of mine who was a midwife," she told presenter Ryan Tubridy.

"One night we went to a very posh wine bar and at the time we had no money. He came in splashing the cash, bought me a drink and asked me out on a date".

Ms Casey said he drove a Porsche and owned his own business, "miles apart" from where she was at in that time of her life. The "charming, fun" guy she met began to show his colours on the third date that they had.

"We'd only had a couple of dates but he was already teaching me which glass to use and how to use the cutlery. On the third date, I mentioned that the chap I was going out with before also had the same name.

"He slammed his wine glass down and said 'this is not a joke, you're my woman now and I'm not going to share you with anyone," she said. 

Ms Casey went to the bathroom shocked at the outburst but by the time she returned to the table, her former partner was apologising and had left a gold bracelet under her napkin. That date set the precedent for the next nine years that she spent with the man.

"I know now that the gut feeling then was something I should have stuck with," she said.

Although Ms Casey was loath to say that her former partner was a monster, she spoke about a number of violent incidents at his hands - including one instance after going out for dinner.

"After dinner, I didn't want to get in the car because he was drinking. I refused to get into the car and he left angry and drove off. I followed him but I had no keys to the house and, for 30 minutes, I was trying to get into the house.

"Eventually he pulled me into the house and battered me senseless... When I was on the ground on the floor in the hall I could hardly see but I could see him going for a knife in the kitchen.

"I don't know how I did it but I pulled myself up and I barricaded myself into the sitting room. I was winded and couldn't breath very well."

Ms Casey eventually fell asleep but when she woke up about 4am and her former partner was standing over her with the knife, crying and apologising, promising that he would attend AA.

"He wouldn't take me to the doctors for three days. I was incapable of walking... I broke three ribs and my cheekbone was broken." 

About six months after this incident, Ms Casey found the courage to leave him.

Ryan Tubridy praised the businesswoman for being brave enough for speaking about the abuse for the first time.

Ms Casey has since rebuilt her life, her career and later found love with her beloved second husband, Richard Hannaford, who passed away some years ago.

Women's Aid can be reached on a Freephone Helpline on 1800 341 900 24 hours a day.

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