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I thought my husband was going to kill me

A MOTHER-of-two feared she was going to die as her husband beat her and threatened to kill her, a court heard.

Hermann Presch (57) carried out the vicious attack on his wife at their family home in south Dublin, then laughed as he burned a court safety order against him on the cooker.

Dublin District Court heard months earlier, he had returned from a holiday on his own in Asia where, his wife alleged, he had spent nearly €3,000 meeting "two Filipina girls" he contacted over the internet.

Presch, a taxi driver, was found guilty of assaulting his wife Ann at their family home at Carrigmore Downs, Citywest, Saggart, on February 19, 2010.

He had denied the charge, claiming it was a "complete fabrication" by his wife, who wanted him out of the house. The accused was convicted and fined €250.

Ms Presch told the court she was sitting in her kitchen when the accused came in. She had a safety order but was afraid to serve it on him and was waiting for her son Graham to return so he could do it.

"I stood up and [the accused] came towards me and asked me where I was going," Ms Presch told the court.

"I took my bags and said I was going to get Graham. I was very, very frightened. He grabbed me, pushed me towards the dining room wall and he pushed his head with full force against my head, asking me where I was going, calling me names, saying how lazy I was. I asked him to let me go and he wouldn't."

The court heard he pushed her over a coffee table, banged her head off a wall and put his knee into her stomach.

"He said he would kill me," she continued. "I was so afraid, I thought I was going to die that day."

He let her go, then grabbed her again and pushed her against a wall.

"He said. 'I'm warning you, I have something planned. You'd better be very careful'," she told the court.

She was petrified and trembling when she met her son and he returned with the safety order to give to his father.

When she returned, Presch had his laptop out, was "on to his friends in the Philippines" and told her, "Oh, I bet you have been to the guards", and laughed.

Ms Presch said her "whole body was sore" and she was bruised after the attack.

Barrister Nessa Kiernan put it to Ms Presch that when the accused came back from his holiday the previous October, he had told her he "wanted out" of the marriage.

"He told you he had met someone else and you said, 'nobody will get their hands on my children's inheritance'," Ms Kiernan put to Ms Presch. "You told him you could kill him and you would get the lot."

Ms Presch denied this. She said their marriage had been over for years, and she had now applied for a divorce.

"He slagged me in from of my children, he was making out to them that I was a bad mother, a prostitute, a lesbian, you name it," she said.

Graham Presch said his father took the safety order, burned it on the gas hob and said, laughing, "you think you are so smart".

The accused told the court he came home from work on the day and when he went to make tea, she "said something about Graham" and left the house. Later, his son came in with the order and he got so upset he "just tore it up".

"They were threatening me, intimidating me, basically tormenting me," he said.

Judge Catherine Murphy said she accepted the prosecution's evidence.

Hermann Presch said he would be appealing the verdict.

aphelan@herald.ie


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