Family Court: Couple refused barring orders against each other

‘I feel threatened when he’s in my face. We both fought . . . of course I hit him back’

Family Court: The husband said he had not moved out of the house, he had been thrown out.

Family Court: The husband said he had not moved out of the house, he had been thrown out.

 

A judge at the Dublin District Family Court has refused barring orders for a husband and wife against each other.

The wife denied she smashed a picture over her husband’s arm, scratched his face and that she punched him. And the husband denied hitting his wife in the face.

The wife had attended court alone in July, alleging violence, and got a temporary protection order, requiring her husband not to use, or threaten to use, violence against her. The following day the husband had attended court alone, also making allegations of violence, and got a temporary protection order against his wife.

At the full hearing of the case this week, the wife told the judge they had been married for 16 years, and had two teenage children, but were now living separate lives and seeing other people. She said she had to call gardaí three or four times since she got the protection order because her husband was harassing her and verbally abusing her.

“I feel threatened when he’s in my face,” she said. She agreed she had hit her husband.

“We both fought . . . of course I hit him back,” she said. And she agreed she had smashed a picture “but not over him”.

Safety orders

She said the only thing left that tied them together was the house and she wanted to sell it.

The husband said he had not moved out of the house, he had been thrown out. He came home to find his clothes outside, he said. He claimed his wife had attacked him in July, but he “never laid a hand” on her. He said it was he who called gardaí and he left the home because gardaí advised him to. He wanted to move back, he said.

Judge Gerard Furlong said he was not willing to make orders excluding anyone from the family home, but he did give the couple safety orders lasting two years. These orders require that the pair do not use, or threaten to use, violence against each other.

The judge said he was making the orders primarily for the sake of the couple’s youngest child. He said the reality was the marriage was over and they needed to make decisions about the house.

Kicked door in

In a separate case, the judge granted an emergency barring order to a woman who attended court alone.

The judge asked the woman to swear to the truth of a statement she had made applying for the order.

In it, she said her partner of four years, who moved out of the family home six weeks ago, had kicked in the front door on Tuesday, pulled her by the hair and dragged her out onto the road, kicking her.

She said their two young children had witnessed his violence against her in the past, which included hitting her and trying to stab her. Her home was destroyed because of him, she said: she had no kitchen door, he punched holes in the walls, and he pulled the spindles off the staircase to hit her with.

“I’m terrified of him,” the woman said.

She also asked if the man would still be allowed to have access to their children.

The judge said the case was “very severe” and it was a pity the woman had not come in sooner. He barred the partner from the family home until a full hearing of the case in December. He also said the woman could apply to stop her ex-partner’s access to the children and said, under the barring order, he would not be allowed to come to the house to collect them.

“If he comes to the house, call the gardaí,” the judge said.