No jail for threatening to kill family

A man who threatened his wife that he was going to kill their four children — starting with “the favourite” child — and then kill her, yesterday received a fully suspended jail sentence.

Judge Gerard O’Brien said it was not clear if the defendant had remorse for his actions, which terrified his wife and children.

“The elephant in the room is that he does not appreciate the seriousness and impact his violent behaviour has had on his family,” Judge O’Brien said.

The judge then imposed a three-year suspended jail sentence on the accused, who pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to his wife, and five counts of threat to kill in respect of his wife and four children.

Detective Sergeant Sean Leahy gave evidence of what happened on October 1, 2015. The accused started pushing his wife around the house. He shouted: “I will kill you.”

The door was open, so the children could hear all the threats and he kept repeating them. At one stage, he caught his wife by the throat and held her up against the kitchen wall and down against an old radio with a jagged broken aerial. He pushed her down, causing the aerial to catch her and it cut her cheek, causing her to bleed heavily.

She made a very detailed statement in September 2016. Up until then, there had been no complaint. A 62-page detailed statement made over four days outlined the violence.

She said that he arrived home in a very agitated state, went for a shower and as he came out, started shouting and giving out about one daughter in relation to an incident that happened earlier in the day. He picked up the baby and threw him over to a person in the room, shouting: “Get it out of here.” The defendant’s wife handed the baby to one of her older daughters. At that stage he shouted: “Do you not get it? I am going to kill the whole lot of you.”

He caught his wife by the throat and said: “I’m going to do the whole lot of ye tonight.”

She got the children out of the room, leaving herself alone with her husband. He kept saying her family hated her and one of their daughters and they had driven him to it.

He then said: “Tonight is the night I’m going to kill the whole lot of ye. Actually I am going to do them first and you can watch and then I will come for you.”

She took this as a serious threat on her life and safety and the lives and safety of her four children, said Det Sgt Leahy.

She managed to get the children out of the room and into one of the bedrooms. The defendant followed and started to threaten them.

“We might as well start with the favourite and we all know who that is,” and he pointed to his son.

“He forced the boy out of the bedroom and frogmarched him down to the sitting room and closed the door behind him,” said Det Sgt Leahy. “There was a glass panel in the door and his wife saw him put his hands on the boy’s shoulder and she heard him say: ‘I’m sorry.’ ”

She got the four children out of a window and calmed the situation to an extent, telling her husband she was getting medication for him. When she got chance, she fled in her car with the children.

The accused is not named due to provisions in the Children’s Act protecting child crime victims’ identity.


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