21 Jan 2022

Longford man who violently assaulted former partner by choking her to be sentenced in October

'I owe gardaí my life': woman tells court how gardaí intervened just in time

Longford man who violently assaulted former partner by choking her to be sentenced in October

A man charged with serious violent assault on his former partner has had his case adjourned to the October sittings of Longford Circuit Court and will face a lengthy suspended prison sentence if a positive probation report is furnished to the court on that date.

Brendan Kelleher of Drumlish Hill, Drumlish, Co Longford has also been ordered to have €5,000 in court on that day by way of compensation to the victim. He paid €2,000 to the court today.

Judge Keenan Johnson, however, made it clear that the money offered to the victim was "by no means a way of buying himself out of trouble" and stated that no amount of compensation would put right the trauma suffered by his victim.

The court heard that, on September 9, 2019, Gardas O'Connor and Joyce received a call to a domestic violence incident at a property on the Battery Road.

Upon arriving at the house, they found Mr Kelleher pinning his partner to a bed, with one hand wrapped around her throat and the other over her mouth.

Gda Shane O'Connor told the court that, when gardaí pulled the accused off the woman, she was struggling to speak and to breathe and took a few minutes to "come round".

"It seems you arrived at the right time, which was fortunate for the injured party and, indeed, fortunate for Mr Kelleher, who could have been facing far more serious charges," said Judge Johnson.

In a powerful victim impact statement, the woman said, "I owe Gda O'Connor my life - a few minutes later and he'd have been faced with a tragic scene".

"I've had my partner wake me up at night because of screaming because of nightmares of what you did," she said in a statement, which she read out in court.

Mr Kelleher told the court that he apologised "from the bottom of (his) heart" for what he had done.

Mr Kelleher will reappear on October 5, 2021, for sentencing.

"Fortunately Gda O'Connor arrived when he did," said Judge Johnson.

"One shudders to think what might have happened if he had not arrived when he did and rescued her."

Read the full court report in next week's Longford Leader.

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