Wife chose poker burn over choke with belt

A 19-year-old man used violence to control his 16-year-old wife’s every move and once gave her the option of having a belt put around her neck or have her arm burned with a poker.

Wife chose poker burn  over choke with belt

The arranged marriage in January 2013, between Dean Maughan, 19 at the time, and Annalise Conroy, who had just turned 16, was marred with bullying and violence from the outset, Galway District Court heard this week.

Maughan, with more recent addresses at 77, Innishannagh Park, Newcastle, Galway, and 5, Townspark, Cavan, denied assaulting Ms Conroy causing her harm when the couple lived in a rented house at Station Road, Oranmore on December 15, 2015. He also denied assaulting her at the same address on March 16 last year.

He told the court he was forced to marry Ms Conroy. He said he never loved her but ‘respected’ her because she had given him a son.

Imposing a 12-month sentence on the accused, Judge Mary Fahy said he had treated his wife like a possession, of no value other than to produce a son. His attitude, and the attitudes of others like him in our society, need to be seriously re-educated, the judge said.

Ms Conroy

recalled fearing for her life during specific violent incidents which occurred throughout their brief marriage.

She said their son was just a few months old when her husband became angry and attacked her on December 15, 2014: “He gave me a choice to either have a belt put around my neck or hold out my hand and have it burned. I put my hand out and he burned me on the hand and then he burned me on the leg too. He put the poker in the fire first and then burned me.”

She said she was in a lot of pain but he would not allow her go to the doctor or get her injuries treated: “He wouldn’t let me go to the doctor. He was very controlling. He wouldn’t let me contact my family.

“I had a small, black phone when I met him first but he broke it. He didn’t want me to have any contact with my family or his family. He wanted me to disown my family. My sister, who had special needs, died and when I came back from the funeral in Ballinrobe, he gave me a very bad beating. I was afraid to tell my family. I was afraid he would kill me and my baby would have no mother,”

she said.

Ms Maughan said the second assault occurred after she returned from the shop on March 16 last year. Maughan was in bed before she left but when she returned he became very, very angry with her because the electricity meter had run out of coins.

“I knew I had to leave that day. It had to stop,” Ms Conroy said quietly.

Maughan told the court he was forced into marriage by the girl’s parents: “It was an arranged marriage. I didn’t want to marry the girl. I met her by texting her on Blackberry messaging and I brought her to Galway for the Volvo Ocean Race. Her parents reckoned we had run away and they wanted us to marry.”

He denied burning her with a poker in December, 2014.

She sentenced Maughan to six months in prison for the first assault and imposed a consecutive six-month sentence on him for the second attack.

Leave to appeal the sentences was granted.

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