Court hears how Cork man put knife to partner's throat in jealous rage

Court hears how Cork man put knife to partner's throat in jealous rage

A man flew into a jealous rage when his ex-partner received a call from a male friend and he punched her in the face, put a knife to her throat and struck her twice with the buckle of his belt.

Garda Carmel Nash testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that Stephen Hickey, 38, who had been living at 48 New Street, Macroom, pleaded guilty to three counts on the indictment.

He admitted assault causing harm to his ex-partner, Patricia Walsh, at the family home, production of a knife and production of a belt.

Judge Brian O’Callaghan imposed a jail term of two years with the last six months suspended.

One of the conditions of the suspension of the last six months was that the accused man would stay away from Ms Walsh for three years following his release from prison.

Garda Nash said that on the evening of May 19, 2017 the accused was at the home of his ex-partner. An argument ensued after she received a call on her phone from a male friend.

Stephen Hickey became jealous and punched her in the face. He took her phone when she threatened to call the gardaí.

“She went to bed. In the early hours he came to her bedroom and he had a kitchen knife in his hand. He put it to her throat.

“He dragged her by the feet out of the bed. He took off his belt and hit her twice with the buckle of it. He went out to get alcohol the next morning. At this stage she got out to call gardaí.

“She suffered bruising and a large red mark to the left side of her back,” Garda Nash said.

In the course of a victim impact statement the injured party said that as a result of the defendant’s assaults on her she was psychologically, physically and emotionally damaged.

She suffered sleepless night and felt demeaned and wronged by his actions.

The accused man had four previous assault convictions and one for producing an article to cause injury. He also had 14 previous public order convictions.

John Devlin, defence barrister, said, “The Director of Public Prosecutions was happy for the matter to be dealt with at district court level but that the learned district judge refused to accept jurisdiction.

He wrote a letter apologising to the injured party. He wishes the court would receive that. He apologises for the harm he caused to the injured party.

“He described a night of drinking. He had a chronic alcohol problem since the end of his teenaged years. He has been before the court for numerous appearances.

“He attended Bruree for seven months. He did well in aftercare. But unfortunately he had a relapse. In colloquial terms he fell off the wagon.”

“He is willing to attend an anger management course. Everyone else is younger than him in prison and he feels ashamed of himself.”

Judge O’Callaghan said an aggravating feature of the case was that after the passage of time the defendant had followed the injured party to her bedroom and held a knife to her.

He said this was a most serious matter in a small bedroom where there was no way of escape.

“To put it mildly, it is quite shocking and to follow it on with a further assault using a belt,” Judge O’Callaghan said.

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