Thursday 14 December 2017

Judge praises ex-wife for 'bravely' blowing whistle

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

SHE had to endure intense cross-examination, accused of being the "woman scorned" who was "out for revenge" against her ex-husband.

However, Judge Gerard Griffin praised Jenny Forsey's civic-mindedness yesterday for blowing the whistle on Fred Forsey.

Ms Forsey (42), phoned Fine Gael TD John Deasy in April 2007 to inform him that she suspected her ex-husband had pocketed money from a wealthy developer.

Mr Deasy told her to contact gardai -- which she did, giving Det Sgt Shay Keavens a detailed statement.

Ms Forsey remembered walking home from the Moorings pub in Dungarvan with her ex-husband one night in the summer of 2006 when they had briefly met a millionaire developer. She remembered Forsey saying: "I think I'll get in with him."

Ms Forsey was struggling to feed the couple's three children when her ex-husband took €60,000 from a developer. She said he told her the developer had given him half that amount -- €30,000 -- to do some work for him.

Forsey, who felt guilty about cheating and the pressure his family was under, brought Jenny and the children on a trip to Rome on the day the first payment was lodged.

The couple kept as much as €20,000 in a safe and Ms Forsey admitted dipping into it frequently to buy shoes for her children or to cover living expenses. She spent thousands on carpets, bedroom furniture and a new fireplace for the couple's modest three-bedroom home.

She was furious with her husband when she found out about his affair.

She ended up under the care of a doctor after the split. She was so upset one day that she crashed her car into the wall of her ex-husband's rented house. Ms Forsey said she hadn't realised the car was in reverse but she agreed "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". She insisted, under oath, that she didn't report her ex-husband to gardai out of "revenge".

Yesterday, Judge Gerard Griffin commended her "bravery" and stated that she had come under "virulent attack" in the witness box.

Apart from her explosive testimony, which lasted 52 minutes, Ms Forsey has kept a dignified silence since her ex-husband's conviction for the sake of her children.

She continues to care for the couple's three children, but felt shattered by her ex-husband's infidelity.

She also endured having their private lives exposed since the trial, when it emerged that she had a physical fight with her husband's lover, Karen Morrissey, after they first met.

Ms Forsey greeted Ms Morrissey with the words: "Oh you're Karen -- the bitch who is ruining my life and my kids' lives."

Evidence was heard of a passionate and fiery relationship that Forsey once shared with his ex-wife.

He dated Jenny Power when the pair were teenagers, and they married in 1990. However, after sordid details of the affair with Ms Morrissey emerged, Ms Forsey left his belongings on the doorstep.

In court, Forsey accused his wife of being a "liar". However yesterday's sentencing hearing cleared her name.

Irish Independent

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