A married woman in the process of separation was terrified when her husband and a “mad-looking” man wearing a foxy wig and headband banged the roof and windows of the van in which she sat with a friend.
The woman’s husband, Gary Cotter, aged 53, of Cois Coillte, Coolatanavalley, Carrigrohane, Co Cork, denied engaging in threatening or insulting behaviour in Douglas at 10pm on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
His friend, John Garrett, aged 53, of Maulrane, Grenagh, Co Cork, also denied being threatening and, further, assaulting John Buckley.
Garrett also denied evidence he was wearing a foxy wig and a headband during the whole disputed incident.
“I don’t possess a wig. I never wore a wig in my life,” he said.
Mr Buckley and his friend Deirdre Cotter, who had been for a walk together, both testified that Garrett was wearing a wig and headband.
“John (Garrett) was wearing this ludicrous wig like a madman,” she said, adding that he and her husband, from whom she was separating at the time, started banging on the roof and windows of Mr Buckley’s van.
It felt like an ambush, she said. “It was absolutely terrifying.”
In his judgment in the case, Judge John King raised the matter of Garrett wearing a wig. “It is so bizarre I don’t think anyone in their right mind would make it up,” he said.
“John Garrett and Gary Cotter claimed that they suspected she was having an affair but that they only went up to politely reprimand her, but the story of the defendants is a big concoction out of the events.”
At Cork District Court, the judge said while both men were guilty as charged, he did not want to criminalise them out of this incident.
He gave both the benefit of dismissals under the Probation of Offenders Act, provided they each make contributions to charity.
Cotter must pay €250. Garrett must pay €200, plus €300 expenses to John Buckley, who was out of work for two days after the assault.
Mr Buckley said he and Ms Cotter were friends and went for a walk on the evening in question.
Afterwards, at Douglas Court car park, they were in Mr Buckley’s van when he said Garrett arrived in a frenzy, wearing a foxy wig and headband screaming insults at Ms Cotter and calling Mr Buckley a scumbag and telling him to get out of the van to face him like a man. Mr Buckley said Cotter was in a severe temper at the scene.
He said Garrett reached in, pulled the keys out of the ignition, and threw them into the van and punched him three times in the head.
Garrett told his solicitor, Seán Durcan, he had said a few words and was sorry for that, but he did not assault Mr Buckley. He claimed Mr Buckley had driven over his left foot, leaving him unable to work again. Mr Buckley denied the claim.
Garrett claimed that Mr Buckley and Ms Cotter were kissing in the van.
He said in his evidence: “I don’t know but I don’t kiss any of my friends.”
Gary Cotter told his solicitor, Elaine O’Sullivan: “I never touched the van. I never raised my voice to John or Deirdre.”
Finalising his order in the cases against Garrett and Cotter, Judge King said: “All I will say is ‘everyone, grow up’.”