Dad is cleared of kicking his pregnant ex

Andrew Phelan

A FATHER-of-two who had been accused of beating up his heavily pregnant ex-girlfriend and telling her he "hoped the baby died" has been cleared of assault.

THE case against Keith Dunne was dismissed after his parents and fiancee gave him an alibi on the night of the alleged attack.

His ex-girlfriend had alleged that he forced his way into her home, kicked and punched her stomach and told her he would kick the child out of her.

But Mr Dunne insisted he had spent the night of May 3, 2010 at his parents' home.

Judge John O'Connor said the burden of proof was on the prosecution to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Dublin District Court heard Bridget Byrne of Westbourne Park, Clondalkin believed the accused was the father of her baby. Mr Dunne disputed this.

Ms Byrne said she was at her home with a 15-year-old babysitter and had just put her one-year-old daughter to bed when the accused called at her door, shouting abuse at her.

He forced his way in and began slapping and punching her, pulling her hair and hitting her stomach, she alleged.

"He was telling me I was good for nothing, only a ride; he was forcibly kicking me into my pregnant stomach, saying he hoped the b***ard died inside me," she alleged.

Afterwards, she alleged, she was in "excruciating pain" and was taken by ambulance to Holles Street maternity hospital. Her baby was born unharmed the following August.

The defendant told the court he had spent the night playing pool in his parent's home at Harelawn Crescent, Clondalkin. His mother and father, Kay and Colbert, as well as his fiancee Susan Murphy, all gave corroborative alibi evidence.