A man who violently assaulted his former partner by choking her has been remanded in custody until October 22 so that Judge Keenan Johnson can consider his sentence.
Brendan Kelleher (33) of Drumlish Hill, Drumlish, Co Longford, appeared at Longford Circuit Court last Tuesday where the court was reminded of his previous appearance in March.
Mr Kelleher was charged with violently assaulting his former partner who told the court in evidence that she had left the door ajar for gardaí who were having difficulty finding the house, stating that if she hadn’t done so, she “wouldn’t be here today”.
When Gda Shane O’Connor arrived at the house, he entered the bedroom where he saw Mr Kelleher pinning the woman to the bed with one hand gripped around her neck and the other over her mouth.
The victim told the court, “I owe Gda O’Connor my life. A few minutes later and I fear he’d have been facing a tragic scene.”
Following a lengthy hearing, Judge Johnson adjourned sentencing to October, telling Mr Kelleher he would be facing a lengthy suspended sentence if he had a good probation report. He was also ordered to have a sum of €5,000 in court for the victim, which he had with him last week. Mr Kelleher was also ordered to engage with the probation officer and a report was furnished to the court last week.
Judge Johnson previously indicated that he will hand down a two and a half year sentence but will suspend it for a period of ten years if the probation report is positive.
“The keys to prison are in your own hands, Mr Kelleher. If the matter comes back, I’ll revoke bail and you’ll go to jail,” he said.
When appearing last week, it was revealed by Gda Declan Brislane and Gda Allen Doherty that Mr Kelleher had been arrested for public order incidents and public intoxication in June and September.
Addressing the court himself, Mr Kelleher explained that he was struggling with his mental health and that, while he tried to get support at AA meetings, he felt he couldn’t share at them because “stories were coming back to me in the community”.
The court also heard that, while Mr Kelleher spent more than three months in Cuan Mhuire Treatment Centre, he consumed alcohol within hours of leaving the facility.
The probation report furnished to court last week stated that Mr Kelleher seemed to be “minimising” his assault on his former partner.
“I minimise everything,”" said Mr Kelleher, “I don’t even remember doing this assault and without alcohol, I never would’ve done this assault.”
“In your evidence before, you accepted you can’t even take one drink,” Judge Johnson replied, “and here we are now where you’ve had four incidents where you took alcohol and committed offences.”
Judge Johnson remanded Mr Kelleher in custody “to reflect on the gravity of his actions and the need to stay sober” and will sentence him on October 22.
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