Child is ‘terrified’ of her father after he threatened to kill her, court told

Girl’s mother tells access hearing she nearly lost sight in an eye after attack by the man

Dolphin House, home of Dublin District Family Court, in Temple Bar. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

Dolphin House, home of Dublin District Family Court, in Temple Bar. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

 

A woman has told a judge that her daughter is terrified of her father after he threatened to kill her.

Judge Gerard Furlong said he would be ending the access that the father had to the girl subject to confirmation of the child’s views.

The woman told Dublin District Family Court on Tuesday that an order was put in place two years ago giving the father access to the child for a number of hours twice a week.

However, she said that after a while the man, who was not in court, stopped showing up for visits and the child did not see him for a few months.

The woman said the child saw her father at the end of last year but that subsequently he was “very abusive to her on the phone”. She said the man told the girl “he was going to kill me and her”.

“She’s terrified of him, she doesn’t want to see him,” the woman said.

The woman told the court she had previously obtained safety orders against the man and that she had “nearly lost sight” in one of her eyes following an assault. The woman sought a court order formally ending the man’s access to the girl.

She said there had been a marked improvement in her daughter’s behaviour since she stopped seeing her father and that she was undergoing therapy. The woman also said the child’s school had reported the man to Tusla, the child and family agency, previously.

She said this was the second occasion in which the child’s father had failed to turn up to court.

Judge Furlong said the woman had outlined some “very serious” incidents of assault and threatening behaviour. He said the man’s access would be discharged subject to confirmation of the child’s views in writing.

Alcoholic

In a separate case, an elderly couple were granted a barring order against their daughter, who the court heard is an alcoholic and has returned to Ireland recently after living abroad.

In a sworn statement, the couple said they have had to collect their daughter from the garda station numerous times and that she has been causing them hassle. Their daughter was not present in court on Tuesday.

The couple said they would not let their daughter into the family home on the advice of the gardaí and doctors. On one occasion she was “beating down the door” to get in, the court heard.

They said during a separate incident the daughter pushed her mother, who could have fallen down the stairs.

“Luckily I didn’t go down the stairs,” the elderly woman said.

Judge Furlong granted the couple a barring order for one year, banning the woman from the family home, from any further violence or threats of violence, and from watching or being near the home. He also included a recommendation that the woman receive alcohol addiction treatment and counselling.

Tablets

Separately, a man was granted a safety order against his son. The man told the court his son takes tablets and someone has to stay in the family home with him “all the time” to ensure he does not take his father’s medication.

The man said that when his son takes drugs he becomes abusive and that when he and his wife had not given him money for drugs previously, he began knocking on a neighbour’s door looking for cash.

“We’re afraid of our lives from him,” said the father, who also expressed fears for his son’s safety if he was not living at home.

Judge Furlong granted a safety order for three years, which prohibits the man from using or threatening violence. He also included a recommendation that the son seek addiction treatment and counselling.