Judge 'sick to the teeth' of withdrawal of testimony
Women who refuse to give evidence in domestic assault cases were sharply criticised by Judge Seán MacBride at Monaghan District Court yesterday when he said he was “sick to the teeth” of the waste of Garda and court time in dealing with charges that were initiated and then withdrawn.
Judge MacBride advised that the Director of Public Prosecutions be asked to consider prosecuting such complainants for wasting Garda resources. He told Garda Insp Pat McMorrow that this was not the fault of gardaí, who showed great patience, but that something should be done to call a halt to these cases where people were “falling into love again” and giving “mealy-mouthed excuses to the court”.
The judge made his views clear while hearing an assault charge against Robert Buz (39), Dr McKenna Terrace, Monaghan, who was charged with assaulting his partner, Kinga Smuzna (22), on June 17th.
Ms Smuzna told the court she wished to withdraw her complaint, despite telling gardaí he had struck her. She said they had had “a row over a game on the television”.
Judge MacBride told Ms Smuzna he was getting tired of these cases. He asked her whether she thought every time she had a row with her partner she could just lift the phone and “waste Garda resources” by getting them to call to her house.
Gardaí had more to do with their time, the judge added.
Dismissing the charge against Mr Buz for want of prosecution, Judge MacBride said the DPP should be informed as to why the matter had collapsed.