A pregnant woman had a kettle of boiling water and sugar poured over her leg by her boyfriend, who also threatened that he would kill her and bury her in the woods if she cheated on him, she claimed yesterday writes Liam Heylin.
A jury of six men and six women deliberated for more than two hours until 5.30pm yesterday and were told by Judge Gerard O’Brien to return to take up their deliberations again on Tuesday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Michael Lynch, aged 24, denies threatening to kill Tara Byrd and assault causing harm to her on July 21, 2015, at 184 Old Youghal Rd, Cork, where they were living together at the time.
Ms Byrd, aged 25, said yesterday that she had known Mr Lynch since she was 19. She started a relationship with him on March 23, 2015 and soon became pregnant. She said she was four months pregnant when Mr Lynch allegedly assaulted and threatened to kill her.
Ms Byrd said that, on June 7, 2015, she wanted to meet friends in a pub to watch a Cork match but she said Mr Lynch told her: “I don’t want you to go to the pub.”
On July 18, they went camping with friends in Crosshaven and Mr Lynch warned her not to be looking at another young man who was there, she told the court.
She said that on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, she was watching Eastenders at 8pm when Mr Lynch again raised the issue of this man.
Ms Byrd testified: “He said he was going to boil a kettle of water with sugar in it and pour the sugar water on me. He put the sugar in the kettle and boiled it.
“He said if I screamed he would hit me over the head with an iron bar. I was wearing pyjama pants. He threw the kettle over my left leg [from top of foot to below knee]. I was in agony. I did not scream. I was shaking with agony.
“He told me to take off my clothes. He put cold water on it. I could not handle it. The pain was unreal. He put a white T-shirt over my leg and he started pouring constant cold water and ice over my leg.
“I told Michael I needed to go to hospital. He said there is nothing they can do that I’m not already doing. I was there all night in that constant… in agony all night.
“He told me if he found me cheating he would kill me and bury me in the woods. I believed him because of what he was after doing to me.”
Ms Byrd said it was not until the following day that she got to hospital. She told medical personnel here that the boiling water fell on her accidentally.
Cross-examined on this story by Gareth Fleming, barrister for the defence, she said she told these lies because she was in fear of Mr Lynch and that he had also told her that he would damage the homes of her friends and family.
She said that, two days later, she got the courage to leave her home and go to emergency accommodation at Edel House in Cork.
Mr Lynch opted not to give any evidence in the case against him yesterday.
A memo of his interview with gardaí was read to the court, in which he said he brought Ms Byrd to hospital 10 minutes after about half a cup of boiling water fell on her leg. He said the kettle was on a counter top and there was “a bit of a slope in the room”.
His barrister made submissions on his behalf, in which he accused Ms Byrd of lying about being assaulted. Ms Byrd said Mr Lynch was the one who was lying.
This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner. .