A Dublin woman who was beaten by her husband with a hammer has thanked a passerby who set his dog on the man and chased him off.
The 46-year-old victim said she feared she was going to be murdered in front of her four-year-old son after seeing the “absolute determination” of her husband to kill her.
She made the remarks during the sentence hearing of her husband who was convicted last June at the Central Criminal Court of raping and threatening to kill his wife over a three-month period after refusing to accept their marriage was over.
It was only the third conviction of rape within a marriage since marital rape was made illegal in 1990.
The 42-year-old man had his barrister read a letter of apology to the court for the hammer attack but made no reference to the rape or other charges.
Padraig Dwyer, defending, said his client was judged to be at a low risk of committing future violence and was ashamed of his actions.
Mary Rose Gearty, prosecuting, contested this, saying the accused had made phone calls from prison to his wife which showed he “does not have a positive attitude towards her”.
He will be sentenced on July 25.
In June at the Central Criminal Court, a jury convicted him of raping his wife in their home in May 2014, and of threatening to cut her face. He was also convicted of threatening to kill the woman the next day.
He had already pleaded guilty to attempting to cause serious harm to the woman and of assaulting her mother on August 7, 2014, during the hammer attack outside the mother’s Dublin home.
The victim’s ordeal began at the start of 2014 when she told her husband of nine years she wanted a separation. Their marriage had been under strain. The man was jealous of the woman’s successful career and believed she was not spending enough time at home. He was also unhappy she was still breast-feeding their child up to two years of age.
On May 25, 2014, they were arguing when he picked up a carving knife and threatened to cut her face open. He then told her “right, upstairs”.
He raped her in the spare bedroom while telling her to open her eyes.
Shortly afterward she obtained a barring order, and the man rang her at her parent’s home and told her she was dead.
One day in early June, he followed her to her workplace and their son’s crèche and said next time he would bring a hammer.
On August 6 he rang her at home and said he was going to “end things tonight”. The next day he showed up at her parents’ house demanding to see their son. The woman and her mother refused to let him in. He said he had a present for the boy in his car and returned with a hammer.
He attacked both women.
A passer-by set his dog on the accused who swung the hammer at them. This man then chased the accused away and gardaí found him nearby hiding behind a jeep.
Mr Dwyer said his client will find prison very difficult as a foreigner far away from his family. He said the accused was going through a depressive episode at the time and suffered by being separated from his son.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved