A west of Ireland man who is alleged to have threatened to kill his wife in front of gardaí has told a court that he is a prisoner in his marriage and lives in fear of his wife.
At Ennis District Court, the 60-year old told the court: “For 15 years she has manipulated me. I am a prisoner in that marriage. I can’t go nowhere. I can’t talk to my friends.
“I want a life. I am a prisoner - that woman has me in a state of fear. I am living in fear of her.
He said in the past “several times she had a knife in her hand and I had to lock myself into a room. I am living in fear of that woman.”
The man was giving evidence as part of a bail application over being charged with breaching a Safety Order secured from the courts by his wife.
The man had also secured the court's protection concerning his wife at an earlier court and Gardaí were opposing an application by the man for bail.
The man’s wife had given evidence concerning the breach before he went into the witness box and she didn’t have the opportunity to address any of his allegations in court.
In an incident last weekend, the man phoned Gardaí and they arrived at the scene where a Garda told the court that she heard the man say “I’ll kill her. I will burn the fucking house down tonight and you will know about it in the morning”.
In court, the man admitted: “It was an awful thing to say. I say things to her to stop her - to put a bit of fear into her to stop her from attacking me. She tells me straight up she is not afraid of me.”
“I didn’t mean it one bit - it was just a game. I am more afraid of her than she is of me. She is not one bit afraid of me. She is not afraid of anyone that woman. I just wanted her to stop.”
Judge Marie Keane told the man that at a previous court appearance “I gave you 12 months to get your situation sorted out - what have you done?”
In response, the man said: “I have several times rang a man up the country to go for the divorce, but she starts crying and she says ‘please I love you. You are the best thing in my life’, jumping up on the couch on top of me. She has been manipulating me all the time.”
Solicitor for the man, Tara Godfrey, told the court: “My client really wants her to leave the house and he hadn’t meant any of what he said and if he said it to the gardaí, he hoped that they might get her to leave the house.”
Ms Godfrey said that the two are separating.
Judge Keane said that she would remand the man in custody with consent to bail.
She said: “The only reason I am giving bail is that you can instruct a solicitor and you do what I told you last January and you get away from this woman and get this situation sorted.
“It is absolute and utter nonsense - you are wasting the State’s time, the court’s time and the Garda’s time and visiting your awfulness on everyone else.”
Judge Keane adjourned the case and told the man to have in court the next day details of the solicitor who is to issue divorce proceedings.
Judge Keane said: “Get your proceedings issued.”