A woman claimed she was held captive by her ex-boyfriend and that he slashed a big canvas poster of Marilyn Monroe with a machete threatening that the same would happen to her.
Michael Lynch, aged 26, who was living at Tír na Spiteóga, Inchigeelagh, Co Cork, was put on trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday before Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin and a jury. He faces a charge of falsely imprisoning Katie Nugent on November 19, 2015 at his rented home.
Ms Nugent testified that she had been in a relationship with Mr Lynch for two or three weeks but the relationship was over on November 19, 2015. She said that on that night she was drinking with friends when Mr Lynch phoned and arranged to come up and go for a spin with her in his blue Passat.
She said she asked him to drive her home but he started driving toward Macroom where he lived and kept her in the house until the following night.
Ms Nugent said: “I kept asking him to bring me home. He started hitting me. He got a knife and started running towards me with a knife, it was like a bread knife, a big long knife. He was running towards me laughing. Any time I put my hands up he would get the wall behind me.
“He got the belt and he tried to choke me with the belt, a red belt. I went to the bedroom I must have fallen asleep. Things started happening again in the morning. He started boiling water. He came in with a big dish and tried to throw the water at me. He had an aerosol can and he said he would light my face and hair and no one would look at me again.
“I was lying down crying. I wanted to go home. He came in with a machete and hit it off my hip. He hit me with the back of it not the sharp side of it.
“He ripped the picture with the machete, a Marilyn Monroe picture. He said that is what he would do to me. It was hanging in the bedroom. He was running at me with the knife. I thought I was never going to get out of the house. I just wanted to go home and see my kids.”
She said landlord Con O’Sullivan, who lived nearby, called to collect the rent and that the accused went to the door and spoke to him. She got out the window, ran to the landlord’s house and called gardaí.
Brendan Kelly, defence barrister, suggested there were many times when she could have left the house but did not. He also suggested that she had been addicted to heroin in the past, a suggestion which she totally denied. She said she had some problems with alcohol, for which she had attended rehabilitation, but did not have a drug problem at any time and never used heroin.
Responding to Mr Kelly in cross-examination she said, “Everything I have said - running to the landlord, all the evidence I have just said - is just crazy because I was smoking heroin? No. No I am sitting here (in the witness box) for the things he done to me that night.” Mr Lynch was questioned by gardaí and a memo of this was presented in evidence to the judge and jury yesterday. He said that the complainant Ms Nugent was in a relationship with him and that on the night in question she tried to commit suicide, trying to cut her wrists with a knife and threatening to cut her throat with the machete.
He said that he was hiding the knives and the machete around the house to keep her safe. During questioning he said: “I am a kind and considerate man, always helping people. Do you know what it is like living with the girl? She is a lunatic, a psychopath, she is not right, she gets medical help, I said I wanted to leave and she threatens to stab me as well. I took the knives off her and hid them.”
The jury will continue their deliberations today.
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