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Violent man first to be convicted of coercive control of ex-partner

A man has been convicted of coercive control, intimidation and multiple assaults of his former partner after the first trial under the Domestic Violence Act.

The 52-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had denied engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour and denied 13 counts of causing harm.

During the trial, the woman (43) told the jury she met the man through a friend. She said they got together shortly before she moved into his apartment.

The woman told Kerida Naidoo SC, prosecuting, there "wasn't a particularly nice beginning to the relationship".

She said shortly after they got together the man stubbed his cigarette out on her foot and burnt it "for no reason".

The woman alleged the man smashed her phone one day after he came across her talking on her phone.

On another occasion, she said he cut her face and neck with a pizza slicer, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

As the relationship progressed, the woman said they were together "all day every day".

"I couldn't even walk around the shops on my own," she said.

The court heard the woman had been working for a firm but her six-month contract ended and she was on social welfare while she looked for work.

She said he took her social welfare money every week.

"By Tuesday evening, I wouldn't have a fiver," she said.

The woman told the court the man would answer her phone when it rang and her friends eventually stopped calling.

"Gradually, we were completely isolated from friends and family," she said.

The woman described incidents including one where he stamped on her head and stamped on her arm, breaking it, the court heard.

She said the man often dragged her around the apartment by the hair and hit her.

"I had a black eye a couple of times a week," she said.

The woman said if the man had taken alcohol then "the smallest thing would set him off and it always, always escalated into violence".

She agreed she herself had an alcohol issue that pre-dated their relationship.

The woman recalled one "bad day" in summer 2019 when the accused made her sit naked on the couch as he paced up and down calling her names.

"He said I was a disgrace, a waste of space," she said.

"He would pace up and down in front of me, threatening to kill my family and make me watch. At one point he said I should have killed you while I had the chance."

She said he said "I am willing to do time for you".

He then told her he would kill her father first "slowly and painfully" and make her watch before he would move on to her brother and his child.

"He said he would make me watch. He just wanted to make me suffer," she told the jury.

During the relationship, the woman said she spent periods in Women's Aid shelters. After she spent a night with another man in a hotel, she said the man made her phone every member of her family and tell them she was a "cheating tramp".


The court heard the man later told the woman he would circulate naked images and videos he had of her on the internet and send them to her family if she did not withdraw the allegations against him.

"I was extremely distressed over that," the woman said.

Jurors convicted the man of coercive control and of 12 of the 13 counts of causing harm. He was cleared of the remaining charge of causing harm.

The man was also convicted of intimidation, to which he had pleaded not guilty.

He was cleared of an assault allegation and endangerment, both of which he denied.

Judge Elma Sheahan remanded the man in custody and adjourned the case for sentencing at a later date.


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