Man found guilty of assaulting wife who suffered stroke
Anthony Kelleher in custody despite refusal of victim who broke bones to testify against him
Kelleher had denied the assault charge but the jury took just 81 minutes to find him guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. Image: Google Streetview
A 42-year-old man has been remanded in custody for sentence after he was convicted of assaulting his wife who suffered a stroke, brain injury and broken bones in the domestic violence incident.
Anthony Kelleher was found guilty of assault causing serious harm to his wife, Siobhán (35) despite her refusal to testify against him when she was called as a witness for the prosecution in the case.
Kelleher had denied the sole charge but the jury of nine men and three women took just 81 minutes to unanimously find him guilty of the assault on the fifth day of his trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Walking with the aid of a walking stick, Ms Kelleher was called as a witness for the prosecution against her husband but she told Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin she wanted to withdraw her complaint.
Asked a number of questions by prosecution barrister, Siobhán Lankford, Ms Kelleher repeatedly answered that “I am not giving evidence, judge”, before she was asked to leave the witness box.
The State then made an application to have her statements to gardaí read into evidence which the judge allowed.
In her first statement made on June 16th, 2014, Ms Kelleher told Det Sgt Joanne O’Brien told how she was at home when her husband attacked her.
She told how she had had a glass of wine “to calm her nerves” before her husband came home around 5.15pm and “started ranting and raving and said I was staggering around”.
She went to bed for an hour but “Anthony dragged me out of bed by the hair and threw me across the corridor and down the stairs. The next thing I knew I woke up in hospital.”
Ms Kelleher later made a second statement outlining in more detail what had happened to her but she made a third statement in April 2015 in which she said she wanted to withdraw her complaint.
Kelleher did not give evidence in his own defence but he did tell gardaí the day after the incident that his wife had a drink problem and had suffered the injuries when she fell down the stairs.
He was later arrested but he denied to Det Garda Tom O’Sullivan ever dragging his wife by her ponytail to the landing and denied ever hitting her or kicking her or throwing her down the stairs.
Kelleher also denied ever putting his wife in fear or ever saying to her during to a hospital visit that if she ever went to the gardaí and made a complaint against him that he would kill himself.
Dr Louise Kelly, a surgeon at Cork University Hospital, said that Ms Kelleher had a number of injuries including a fractured wrist and ribs, bruising to the abdomen and lower limbs and liver lacerations.
The liver lacerations did not tally with a fall down the stairs as such a condition generally involves force from the front to the back.
“The sheer force couldn’t have happened with a fall down the stairs.”
Following the verdict, the judge remanded Kelleher in custody for sentence on May 9th when it is expected that a victim impact statement will be provided to the court.