Husband charged with assault causing serious harm to his wife

A Macroom man was put on trial by judge and jury yesterday on a charge of assault causing serious harm to his wife at the family home exactly four years ago.

Anthony Kelleher, aged 44, was arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday on a charge of assaulting his wife Siobhán Kelleher, aged 39, where it is alleged that he intentionally or recklessly caused her serious harm at the family home in Curraheen, Raleigh North, Macroom, Co Cork, on June 12, 2014.

He replied not guilty to the single charge against him.

A jury of nine men and three women was sworn in to hear the case before Judge Brian O’Callaghan at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Alice Fawsitt, prosecuting, gave the jury an outline of what she anticipated the evidence would be in the case but she emphasised the point that the outline was not in itself evidence.

“At 18.49 on June 12, 2014, a 999 call was made by Mr Kelleher requesting an ambulance, stating that Mrs Kelleher had fallen down the stairs and was unconscious and that she had her tongue between her teeth and seemed to be bleeding very heavily.

“It is alleged this information was on the memo of the call,” Ms Fawsitt said.

The prosecution counsel said the memo contained the question from ambulance control: “How far did she fall?” followed by the answer: “Four or five feet.”

On the question of what caused the fall the reply was: “Drink”.

Ambulance personnel arrived at the house.

The paramedics identified the injuries as life-threatening injuries and decided to take her immediately to Cork University Hospital. Ambulance personnel met with a doctor en route to hospital and he attended to Mrs Kelleher on the ambulance journey.

Ms Fawsitt said another doctor at the emergency department of Cork University Hospital later diagnosed a number of injuries, including a blunt force head injury and the injured party was put into an induced coma for some days.

Ms Fawsitt said that when Mrs Kelleher came around, it was established that she had a stroke, a liver laceration, lung collapse, fractured vertebrae, fractures to her left wrist and right little finger, bruising to her left leg, buttocks and both ankles, and abrasions to her forehead.

The prosecution counsel said the hospital became concerned that those injuries were inconsistent with the description of how the injuries were sustained so gardaí were contacted.

Arising out of their investigation, the prosecution alleged that Mr Kelleher assaulted her.

Again, Ms Fawsitt said this was an outline of allegations and did not constitute evidence. She said the prosecution would have to produce the evidence to back it up.

Mrs Kelleher was called to give evidence at 3.32pm yesterday.

A moment later, the witness not having arrived in the courtroom, Judge O’Callaghan told the jury they could go home and he asked them to return for the resumption of the trial today.

The judge addressed the jurors before they left.

“Please don’t talk to strangers about the case. I am including Mr and Mrs Google and Mrs Twitter and all their friends. We are confined to what we hear in court,” Judge O’Callaghan said.

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