Offaly man to be sentenced this week after subjecting partner to horrifying assault
TULLAMORE Circuit Court heard details of an attack by a man on a woman in a pub toilet in Edenderry, followed by a horrifying assault on the same victim at their house in Rhode later the same night.
Kevin Farrelly, 38, of Hillview, Rhode, who has offered €4,000 to his victim, will be sentenced on Friday for the assaults, which occurred more than two years ago.
Judge Keenan Johnson was told Mr Farrelly had previously pleaded guilty to the assaults and to possession of cannabis for supply at Rhode and Baltigeer, Kinnegad.
A sentencing hearing last week dealt with the drugs issue first and Kevin White, BL, prosecuting, said gardai had been told by Ms Braithwaite that cannabis belonging to her then partner Mr Farrelly could be found at 47 Hillview and at another house in Baltigeer.
Detective Garda Joseph Bradley said when they searched the Hillview address on April 25, 2018 they found suspected cannabis herb in a plastic container in a kitchen press.
When it was sent for analysis it was confirmed that it was 53g of cannabis which was worth about €1,077.
On May 2 they searched a house at Baltigeer owned by Mr Farrelly which was under construction at Baltigeer and after retrieving a car key from the chimney inside the residence, they opened a Volkswagen Passat parked outside and found more cannabis in a bag in the boot.
There was 414g of cannabis, which was valued at €8,298, along with a number of money bags and a weighing scales.
Mr Farrelly was arrested on May 12 and he said he had moved drugs from Rhode to Kinnegad.
They were for Ms Braithwaite's use and subsequently the DPP accepted his plea of guilty to having the drugs for supply to his partner.
Replying to Stephen Byrne, BL, defending, Det Garda Bradley said that at the time Ms Braithwaite told gardai about the drugs she had herself been arrested on suspicion of stabbing Mr Farrelly.
She stated she stabbed him in the calf in self defence and there was no prosecuion because no complaint was made by Mr Farrelly.
Det Garda Bradley also said Ms Braithwaite had said she bought the cannabis for €1,000 and Mr Farrelly had hidden it so she would not smoke it. The money bags were used to bring cannabis to friends.
Det Garda Bradley said Ms Braithwaite had made another statement retracting her original one.
Judge Johnson said there was a lot of confusion about the ownership of the drugs and after Mr White sought a break to take instructions on the matter, he said if there was any doubt about the prosecution Mr Farrelly should get the benefit of it.
The court then turned to the matter of an assault by Mr Farrelly on Ms Braithwaite at Scanlon's public house, JKL Street, Edenderry on August 25, 2018, followed by another at 47 Hillview the same night.
In a statement given to gardai the following day, Ms Braithwaite said herself and the accused had first been in Scanlon's, Kinnegad and then went to Scanlon's, Edenderry.
During the evening Ms Braithwaite went to the house of a female friend of hers to get ready to go out again and Mr Farrelly was calling her on the phone to come back to the pub.
The two women arrived at the pub and found Mr Farrelly outside waiting and after a verbal exchange she went into a bathroom cubicle but was followed by the accused who threatened to kick the door down and then hit her head against the cubicle.
A bouncer came in and when Ms Braithwaite came out there was blood on her face and her nose had bled.
Mr Farrelly and his victim then separated and the two women went to a nightclub. Ms Braithwaite got a lift home later and the defendant was already there.
He slammed the door and when she went to hide in a cupboard in a box room he dragged her out by the hair and started to beat her head off the floor and wall.
He stood over her when she fell, kicked her, and then emptied her handbag and threw her work clothes out the window.
Mr Farrelly then threw WD40 oil over her and took out a lighter and started to light it. The accused then dragged her outside by the hair and kicked her on the grass before throwing a 20-litre plastic fuel drum at the back of her head.
A neighbour told gardai he saw a woman being hit by a man while she lay on the grass and he witnessed her grab his foot as he stood with the barrel.
Another neighbour told of hearing a knock on his window from the victim who had a lump like a tennis ball on her head.
He could smell the DW40 and he called an ambulance. The witness did not think she was drunk or on drugs but she was definitely terrified.
In her victim impact statement, Ms Braithwaite said she did not think she would ever be the same again, she found it hard to sleep, had flashbacks and had tried to end her life.
She was on medication for anxiety and to help her sleep and felt she had been manipulated and pressurised by Mr Farrelly and she felt like an animal being kicked and abused when he assaulted her. She said she strived every day to become a happy person again and be a good mother to her children.
The court was further told that Mr Farrelly had breached bail conditions by having contact with the victim and when he bail was revoked he spent about four weeks in custody.
In his evidence Mr Farrelly, a machine driver with a construction firm for 12 years, said he was not a drug dealer other than to supply drugs to Ms Braithwaite.
He said he was ashamed and embarrassed about the assaults and that he had made a pig of himself. He accepted that his former partner was a vulnerable person who had been subjected to a barbaric attack.
Mr Braithwaite, who had previously been convicted of assault, said he would seek anger management counselling and he had been in contact with his probation officer.
Judge Johnson said he knew from the probation officer's report that she was horrified at the cavalier attitude of the accused.
He said Ms Braithwaite, a very vulnerable lady, had been the victim of a very serious assault and nobody should be subjected to that kind of degrading treatment.
Mr Farrelly said he was terrified at the prospect of going back to prison and told the court of other incidents where Ms Braithwaite had damaged his house, pushed him down stairs resulting in him sustaining an elbow fracture, and broken his phone, couch and television.
Adjourning sentence to Friday, November 27, Judge Johnson asked the prosecution to ascertain if Ms Braithwaite was prepared to accept the €4,000 and if not, it could be donated to a domestic violence charity.