A former Fine Gael town councillor has told a corruption trial that the mother of his estranged wife told him she would “stab him to death” if he did not repay €10,000 he had borrowed from her daughter.
Fred Forsey Jr, aged 43, of Coolagh Rd, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, was speaking at a trial at which he denies receiving a total of €80,000 in corrupt payments from a property developer.
Mr Forsey told Waterford Circuit Court the € payments were a loan and denied they were in return for supporting the rezoning of a piece of land outside Dungarvan for industrial and residential use.
“The rezoning part of things I didn’t really have a lot of knowledge on,” he said. “I was promoting the creation of jobs.”
Mr Forsey spoke of the break-up of his marriage in 2006 when he became involved with a new partner, Karen Morrissey.
He was in “a panic” over his finances and rang a developer he had met once previously to ask for a loan of €60,000 or €70,000.
He left the home he shared with Jenny Forsey and their children in the autumn of 2006, he said, but Mrs Forsey would often call to his new house and there was “always an argument”.
She loaned him €10,000 later in the year but was “hassling” him about it so he rang the developer again to ask for more money.
In Dec 2006, he was “getting a lot of hassle” from Mrs Forsey, he said, “and there was violence involved”. He rang the developer and asked if he could get another €10,000 “to carry me over”.
He said Mrs Forsey rang him up, “effing and blinding” and demanding €500 for maintenance, saying her mother was going to the guards if he did not pay.
When, on Dec 22, he called to Mrs Forsey’s house to pay her, her mother told him she knew about the €10,000 he owed her daughter.
“She said: ‘I’ve lived my life and I’ll stab you to death if you don’t pay that money.’ ”
He said that, on one occasion, Mrs Forsey called to his house while Ms Morrissey was present. “She said: ‘Oh you’re Karen, the bitch who is ruining my life and ruining my kids’ lives.’ She just dived on her. I was trying to separate them.”
Mr Forsey said Mrs Forsey later shouted: “I’ll fucking kill ye,” before driving into the wall of the house.
Earlier, Mr Forsey said he “nearly had a stroke” when he realised he would have to spend the night in a cell after being arrested in 2009.
Mr Forsey travelled to Australia in 2007 with Ms Morrissey after his marriage broke up, he said. He later moved to Liverpool.
He was arrested in July 2009, after flying back to Ireland for a wedding, and brought to a Garda station.
“I was put into the cell, which totally freaked me out,” he said. He thought he would be questioned for a few minutes before being brought to the wedding.
“When it came to the time for staying there overnight in the cell, I nearly had a stroke,” he said. “I don’t know if any of you have ever been in a cell but I hope you never will. They’re filthy. They’re very unhygienic and smelly. There was a bed there with God knows what on it.”
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