Man’s ‘menacing’ behaviour allegedly intimidated gardaí

Husband has ‘learned nothing’ as he loses bid to overturn barring order taken by wife

The wife claimed he had a history of violence towards her and she had suffered numerous assaults, including one incident in which she alleged a door was shut in her face, injuring her. File photograph: Collins Courts.

The wife claimed he had a history of violence towards her and she had suffered numerous assaults, including one incident in which she alleged a door was shut in her face, injuring her. File photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A husband whose “menacing and controlling” behaviour allegedly intimidated young gardaí dealing with incidents involving him and his wife has lost his High Court bid to overturn a barring order against him.

The man has “no insights into his behaviour of recording, discouraging and threatening gardaí, in-laws and other persons anxious to restrain his menacing and controlling behaviour,” Mr Justice Henry Abbott said.

The man’s wife and mother of his three children had asked the Circuit Court in December 2014 to extend a one-year order barring him from the family home granted in January 2014.

He opposed the application but undertook to stay away from her pending the Circuit Court hearing and his subsequent appeal to the High Court after the Circuit Court granted the extension.

The wife claimed he had a history of violence towards her and she had suffered numerous assaults, including one incident in which she alleged a door was shut in her face, injuring her. He claimed that was accidental.

The wife said her husband has access rights to their children but alleged, whenever he had any contact, he continuously questioned them about whether they had seen him hit her and, if they said yes, became extremely angry with them.

She claimed he constantly recorded the children in the family home before he left so as to ensure everyone would “remain silent”.

In November last year, the District Court varied the access order to allow access if the children wished it and also recommended family counselling and/or therapy.

Younger gardaí

The wife claimed her husband had intimidated younger gardaí who called to the house to investigate incidents and had a propensity to make complaints about those investigating gardaí, including unfounded complaints to the Garda Ombudsman.

He claimed he had excellent relations with his children and was in a better position to look after them, in many respects, than his wife. He also argued he had “done his time” in relation to the barring order, abiding by its terms.

He also alleged the wife had not been straight in her evidence in failing to mention an assault charge against him had been dismissed with the judge in that case expressing dissatisfaction in relation to the involvement of prosecuting gardaí and their proposed witnesses. He also claimed she had exploited family and other connections with gardaí to influence them to lean heavier on him.

Dismissing his appeal, Mr Justice Abbott said it was not sufficient for him to say he had not been guilty of violence and had “done his time” in relation to staying away from the family home.

“The fact remains the wife is still in fear”, he said.

The man’s demeanour in court indicated he was full of anger and resentment about the way he has been treated and had no insights into his behaviour, the judge said.

He had “learned nothing” from his experiences as far as putting, or potentially putting, his wife in fear.

The man was “articulate and intelligent” but it was regrettable he had paid no heed to the suggestion to undergo family mediation.

While the man had sacked his legal team for this appeal, he might have influenced its result had he “kept faith” with them and taken up the mediation suggestion, the judge said. In acting as he had, he “destroyed his chances of success on appeal”.