Safety order against man who locked partner in dog kennel is denied

Dublin District Family Court hears man threatened to use angle-grinder on house

In a separate Dublin District Family Court case, a mother told the judge the father of her son had been out drinking with friends and then kicked in the door of her apartment

In a separate Dublin District Family Court case, a mother told the judge the father of her son had been out drinking with friends and then kicked in the door of her apartment

 

A man was locked in a kennel by his civil partner, who threatened to use an angle-grinder on their property, Dublin District Family Court has heard.

In an application for a safety order, the man told Judge Paula Murphy that last month, in the course of an argument, his partner had pushed him into the dog house in the back garden and had locked the door.

Then he got an angle grinder, said “now you will see what I can do”, and went upstairs in their home.

The applicant said he called gardaí and, on their advice, applied for and obtained a protection order, a short-term safety order.

He told the court that on a separate occasion last year he was in his own room because his partner and he had not been speaking when he discovered his partner had installed a camera above his door.

“It was a complete violation of my privacy,” he said. “I was disgusted.”

Heating switch

On another occasion, he said he was cold in his bedroom and he put the heating on but his partner switched it off. He put the heating on again and his partner pulled the heating switch off the wall.

“I fixed it and when he discovered it was fixed, he pulled it off again and smashed it,” he said.

He also said, in another incident, his partner stormed into his bedroom and smashed up the room and he was cut by shattered glass.

He agreed with his solicitor that he had been in the civil partnership for more than three years, but he was now in fear of his partner and wanted a safety order. This would require his partner not to use violence or threaten to use violence, but would not exclude him from the family home.

Giving evidence, the respondent said his behaviour was a response to the applicant’s behaviour.

“Why do you all the time throw water in my bed?” he asked.

Bed soaked

He said the first time it happened, it was in December, his bed was soaked and he had to sleep on the couch for two months. Then he decided to get a lock for the bedroom door.

After getting a lock, he came home from work and found the applicant trying to break down the bedroom door. “As soon as he heard me he stopped doing that and shouted offensive names,” he said. “Out of anger I knocked the door down myself.”

He said the applicant’s bedroom was full of empty bottles and he was drunk. The respondent admitted to having broken some of the bottles and also admitted that his partner had been cut with the glass.

“I went downstairs to get a plaster for him – straight away he called his friend and started laughing about it,” he said.

Asked about the angle-grinder, he said it was “a silly thing” and childish, and he did it to “play with his mind”.

He admitted to having broken the heating and said the house got too warm. He also said there was no battery in the surveillance camera. He accepted he had a temper. He had begged his partner for a divorce, but he would not give him one, he said.

The judge said it was clear the couple had come to the end of their relationship. But she was not convinced the threshold had been reached for a safety order. Instead, the respondent gave a sworn undertaking that he would not use violence.

‘Boxed and kicked’

In a separate case, a mother told the judge the father of her son had been out drinking with friends and kicked in the door of her apartment. He “boxed and kicked” her, she told the judge, handing her photos of her injuries. The registrar passed the photos to the woman’s ex-partner.

“Is that a bite mark?” he asked.

“No, that’s where you stood on my watch,” the woman replied.

In evidence, the father said she had attacked first, but admitted he had pushed her to the ground and “probably did swing at her”. He also said he “picked her up and bounced her off the ground” and he put his foot through the television.

The judge granted a safety order.