Man apologises for breaching orders not to contact vulnerable woman

Court heard woman in he 40s is ‘terrified’ and feels she is ‘a prisoner in her home’

 

A man has apologised before the High Court for breaching High Court orders not to have any contact with an extremely vulnerable woman.

The woman, a ward of court aged in her forties, is “terrified” as a result of the contact and feels she is “a prisoner in her home”, the court had previously heard.

She lives independently but with supports.

The man was arrested and brought before Mr Justice Alexander Owens by members of the gardaí on Tuesday to answer claims he had been in contempt of orders restraining him contacting the woman.

The parties cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The man after having the consequences of his actions explained to him by both a solicitor and the Judge apologised to the court for breaching the order.

He also gave a sworn undertaking not to be in contact with her again.

He also agreed not to make contact with her through a third party.

The Judge, in order to see how the man behaved in the meantime, adjourned the matter to Thursday’s sitting of the court.

If there were any further breaches of the order the Judge warned the man that he could be committed to prison.

Arising from concerns for the woman, the President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly made orders last March restraining the man contacting her whether by himself or through others.

The man was also restrained from contacting her either in person, by phone or via social media.

Due to alleged breaches of the orders David Leahy BL, for the HSE, got permission earlier this month to bring attachment and committal proceedings against the man.

Mr Justice Kelly said that based on evidence of the woman, a social worker and gardai, he was satisfied there was prima facie evidence the woman was in the man’s premises in mid-April when additional court documents were served on him.

There was also prima facie evidence of the man contacting the woman in late April, threatening her and telling her he had other people watching her home.

The man had described a particular person who had called to her house, the judge heard.

This had lead to a situation where the woman was terrified to leave her home and she had stayed inside for some days with the curtains drawn, the court was told.

Phone evidence showed there were two other attempted contacts last month, the court was also told.