Longford assault case dismissed as man denies he was at woman's home when she was assaulted

Longford Leader

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Longford District Court

Longford District Court

A man who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court charged with assaulting a woman had his case dismissed following a lengthy hearing into the matter.

Brendan Kelleher, Drumlish Hill, Drumlish, Co Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with assaulting Karen Galvin at 19 French Hall, Prospect Woods, Longford on January 1, 2018.

He was also further charged with two counts of being in breach of a barring order on the same date.

In her direct evidence to the court, Ms Galvin said that she had made a statement to gardaí on January 3 last about an assault she suffered at the hands of Mr Kelleher on the previous New Year’s Day.

She said that on the day of the assault, she had been out shopping and when she returned to the area, she noticed that the lights were on in her apartment.

She also pointed out that at that stage she suspected Mr Kelleher was inside.

Ms Galvin told the court that the defendant often stayed at her home, but also resided with his parents at other times.

“When I went into the apartment on New Year’s Day, I found him comatosed on the couch and there was rice and pasta everywhere,” she told Longford District Court.

“I tried to clean it up and he kicked me into the face.

"He left me for dead in my own apartment.”

Ms Galvin continued; “He broke my head into the plastic bin and kept kicking me.”

The court heard that the defendant subsequently ran out of the building, leaving the door wide open behind him.

Ms Galvin, meanwhile, tried to gather herself together, Judge Hughes was told.

“I didn’t tell the guards immediately about what happened due to my counsellor, but I did go to them two days after the attack,” she cried.

“Brendan Kelleher broke my nose.”

In the witness box, Ms Galvin also pointed out that the defendant had broken her nose during a previous incident on December 9, 2017.

She told Judge Hughes that she didn’t report the matter at the time because she was afraid.

Under subsequent cross examination by the defendant’s solicitor Fiona Baxter, Ms Galvin admitted that she had spent Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day with Mr Kelleher and his family.

Ms Galvin told the court that she only did that because it gave her the opportunity to spend time with her daughter.

“Mr Kelleher would say that was the last time he saw you,” added Ms Baxter.

But Ms Galvin added; “That’s lies”.

Ms Baxter then put it to the witness that she had phoned her client on the Saturday before Christmas because she was “petrified” of a particular person.

“You wanted Mr Kelleher to come to your aid,” suggested Ms Baxter, before adding that when Mr Kelleher subsequently arrived at the apartment he was met by the witness who was bearing two black eyes.

Ms Galvin denied this was the case and said she was so scared on January 1, 2018 when Mr Kelleher assaulted her that she rang her friend.

“I was scared for my life,” she continued.

Ms Baxter then proceeded with her cross examination of Ms Galvin. 

She said that her friend offered that night to accompany the witness into the apartment, but Ms Galvin declined the offer.

“If you were that afraid, then why didn’t you ring the guards?” the solicitor asked.

Ms Galvin then added: “Brendan Kelleher is the father of my child”.

Meanwhile, Ms Baxter put it to Ms Galvin that she phoned the defendant on January 2, 2018 telling him that she was stuck for the rent and needed help gathering the money.

Ms Galvin then looked down at Mr Kelleher and shouted; “Brendan you are priceless”.

Photographic evidence of the injuries that Ms Galvin sustained during the New Year’s Day assault was then submitted to the court.

Meanwhile, Garda Gary Larkin told the court that it was approximately 3:30pm on January 3, last when Ms Galvin presented herself at Longford Garda Station where she alleged that she had been assaulted by Brendan Kelleher on January 1.

“There was bruising on her body, so I took a statement from her,” added the Garda, before pointing out that the witness appeared sober when she attended the Garda Station.

“Brendan Kelleher denies assaulting her and says that he was at his parents' house all day New Year’s Day.”

In his direct evidence to the court Mr Kelleher said he wasn’t even in Longford town on New Year’s Day.

“I wasn’t even in Longford on January 1, 2018,” he added, before pointing to the fact he had been at a New Year’s Eve party the night before at his sister’s house.

“I didn’t leave my sister’s house until 3am and I didn’t get out of bed on January 1 until about 3pm.

“My daughter was in the house New Year’s Day; my sister called with her husband in the evening time and we were all there together in the house.”

Mr Kelleher then spoke about a previous incident that had taken place with the witness.

He said she rang him and told the father of her daughter that she was afraid on her own, so he travelled into Longford town to help her.

“She had two black eyes and when I asked her what happened, she said she fell taking out the rubbish,” Mr Kelleher continued.

“She had met up with her ex and it was him that gave her the black eyes - I know this.”

Mr Kelleher then accused Ms Galvin of being a liar and insisted she was “jealous” of the fact that their daughter resided with him.

“She is jealous that I am living with my parents and my daughter - my daughter is there with us,” he pointed out to the court.

“She doesn’t even show up half the time to see her own daughter and when she does, the visits are supervised.”

He then said that he received a call from Ms Galvin on either January 2 or 3 and she told him that she was three weeks behind in the rent and the place was freezing cold.

Meanwhile, during his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said there simply was not enough evidence to convict Mr Kelleher.

He did point out, however, that somebody assaulted Ms Galvin and the injuries she sustained were “disgraceful”.

“It’s not that the court disrespects the evidence of Karen Galvin,” said Judge Hughes.

“But I have a doubt because there simply is not enough independence evidence here.

“The injuries inflicted upon Ms Galvin are disgraceful.”

The Judge subsequently dismissed all charges against the defendant before bringing matters to a conclusion.