| 10.1°C Dublin

Mother begged husband not to kill her with cable

THE wife of a man who wrapped a computer cable around her neck has told how she begged him not to kill her.

Suzanne Keegan said she thought she would be strangled to death when her estranged husband attacked her with the printer cord after she agreed to meet him at his Dublin home.

David Keegan (45) of Corbally Park, Westbrook Glen, Tallaght, was jailed for three-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to assault causing harm to his wife at his then home in Clondalkin on October 8, 2007. Judge Frank O'Donnell suspended the last year of the sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Suzanne said she met her husband, an IT worker, through an ad in the Herald's Meeting Point section in 1996. By the time of the attack, they had four children but were living apart. Suzanne had taken a barring order out against him.

Suzanne said Keegan was trying to resume the relationship and asked to meet her at his rented house at Monksfield Estate. He had been given €50,000 in redundancy money from his previous employer, O2, and was offering Suzanne €5,000 as an apology for "being a b*****d for 10 years", she said.

"To be honest, I needed the money -- the mortgage wasn't being paid," she said. "I believed him. I didn't expect to be attacked."

As they spoke in the bedroom of his house, he asked to move back with her. When she refused, he "went very quiet".

"I had to take a call and while I was on the phone, he just tiptoed up behind me and put the printer cable over my head and around my neck and started choking me," she said. "I begged and screamed 'help, my husband is trying to kill me. I am being murdered. Please don't kill me, Dave.' Nobody came to help.

"He tried to push me down on to the bed from behind and I was afraid if he did I'd be finished. I felt I was going to die. My life flashed before my eyes.

"I knew that nobody else knew I was there and I was in big trouble. I thought about never seeing my children again. It came to me that I always thought I would be old before I died. But your instincts kick in and I had to try to save myself."

Suzanne managed to push the bed away. They collapsed to the floor, and she pulled the cable away from her throat.

"It was a terrible struggle," she said. "I fought really hard. It was terrifying and exhausting."

Suzanne got free and began making promises that they would get back together.

"I talked my way out of it," she said. "I said I would go back to him, anything to get out."

Suzanne finally talked him into leaving to go somewhere for a meal and to talk and he began to change his clothes. She ran to the front door, where she met Keegan's housemate leaving. He let her out and she drove away, deeply traumatised.

Keegan vanished and was on the missing persons list until he eventually handed himself in to the gardai.

"The judge said I was lucky to be alive," she said.

Suzanne went to hospital, where she was treated for shock and the marks that had been left around her neck.

Speaking after the sentence, Suzanne said: "I thought I would feel better when he was sentenced but I just felt sad."