A woman was put in fear when her ex-husband screamed at her to let their young son go to another soccer club after his team had lost yet again.
The 40-year-old man pleaded guilty at an in-camera sitting of Cork District Court to breaching a safety order by putting his wife in fear on the sideline of a pitch after a match. The woman told Judge Con O’Leary that she and the defendant were separated for years and were, at this stage, divorced.
“I kept as far away from him as possible,” the woman testified at the sentencing hearing. “I keep out of his way. It is an ongoing fear I have with him. These issues have to stop.”
Judge O’Leary wanted to know what had triggered the outburst by her husband on this occasion.
“He wants the child to change soccer clubs,” she said in relation to their primary school-age son.
Inspector Seán McCarthy said the defendant had two previous convictions for engaging in threatening behaviour and three convictions for breaching domestic orders by putting his wife in fear.
Judge O’Leary asked: “What does he expect if he breaches an order for the fourth time? What is wrong with him?”
Donal Daly, solicitor, said:
“The young fella was playing with this club. They had lost again. He was anxious his son would play with another club. He thought he would be less upset if he was on a team that was winning.”
Mr Daly said the defendant did not verbally abuse his wife. He said that the defendant did ask her: “Why the hell don’t you leave the young fella join the other club?”
Judge Con O’Leary said following submissions from Mr Daly that he would put the defendant on a 12-month probation bond.