Trial jury hears assault left wife with brain injury

The jury in a serious assault trial has been told a woman suffered a stroke, brain injury, and various broken bones after being assaulted by her husband in the family home.

However, soon after the woman took the witness stand yesterday, she told the prosecution counsel that she wanted to withdraw her complaint.

Macroom man Anthony Kelleher is accused of assault causing serious harm to his wife who was allegedly found extensively injured at the end of the stairs in the family home.

Mr Kelleher, aged 42, was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to a charge of assaulting his wife, Siobhán Kelleher, where it is alleged that he intentionally or recklessly caused her serious harm at the family home in Curraheen, Raleigh North, Macroom, Co Cork.

A jury of nine men and three women was sworn in to hear the case before Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Siobhán Lankford, prosecuting, gave the jury an outline of what she anticipated the evidence would be, stressing that this was not in itself evidence.

“On June 12, 2014, Siobhán Kelleher was present at her family home. It was around tea time or dinner time. She had made a dinner. Anthony Kelleher, her husband, arrived home. They had an argument over something trivial.

“Siobhán Kelleher had taken a drink earlier on. After the argument she went upstairs and she went to bed. He followed her upstairs.

“It is the prosecution case that he assaulted Siobhán Kelleher, his wife, culminating in her being found at the foot of the stairs in the family home with serious injuries. She was taken to Cork University Hospital.

“Her injuries were very widespread. She had blunt force trauma to the head, she had a stroke, the right of her brain had extensive damage, a laceration to her liver, a number of fractures to various bones in her body and injuries to the area of her lung.

“She had widespread injuries amounting to serious harm caused by an assault perpetrated by Anthony Kelleher,” it was alleged by Ms Lankford.

The prosecution barrister said: “You will hear medical evidence. It will be very important that you listen carefully to that. It is particularly important evidence.”

Ms Lankford also explained how a jury could make inferences from facts presented in evidence in a trial.

Mrs Kelleher, aged 35, walked slowly to the witness box using a walking stick.

The first question Ms Lankford asked Ms Kelleher after she was sworn in to give evidence related to the location of the family home.

Mrs Kelleher replied: “I want to withdraw my complaint.”

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin turned to the jury at that stage at around 12 noon yesterday and told them there was a legal matter that had to be dealt with in their absence.

By lunchtime, the judge sent the jury away for the day.

“The legal argument will take longer than I thought. There is little point keeping you cooped up in the room. I am going to let you go.”

The jurors were told not to discuss the case with anyone, not to conduct internet searches and the judge told them how important it was for them to return today for the resumption of the trial.


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