A 26-year-old man who got bail on condition that he would have no contact of any kind with his partner approached her moments later outside the courtroom saying, “You’ll regret this.”
The man effectively blew his bail and ended up being remanded in custody until Wednesday as a result of his actions moments after being granted bail at an in camera hearing in Cork District Court.
Another young man who appeared in the same court in relation to an unpaid drugs fine approached gardaí and alerted them to the threat made to the young woman outside Courtroom 1.
Parties to the in camera case had to be reassembled over lunchtime to deal with the evidence of the defendant threatening his partner in this way.
Defence solicitor, Eddie Burke, said he had arrived back at this office when he was alerted to the matter and the defendant himself was on his way home with his father when he was told that he would have to come back to court.
Mr Burke said in a submission to the court: “Unfortunately, what he did was extremely stupid. It was in the heat of the moment. When he left the courtroom she was the first person he saw outside the door.”
Judge Olann Kelleher said this man had just been given bail and had signed his name to the conditions which included having no contact with the complainant, direct or indirect. He was also precluded from using social media to contact her.
The defendant had been arrested on Thursday night and charged with putting his partner in fear by turning up at her house. Inspector Finbarr O’Sullivan said at the initial court appearance that gardaí were not opposed to the defendant being released on bail.
Judge Kelleher said during the hearing after the incident outside the court: “It is a serious matter when someone brings an application before the court. It is explained to her that there will be no contact.
"That must mean something. She is entitled to rely on that. If the court does not enforce it, the system breaks down.”
The judge then remanded the young man in custody.
The defendant said at the second hearing that he had not slept the night before in the holding cell at the garda station and was upset about what happened.
Asked about approaching the young woman outside the courtroom he said: “It was emotionally drive. I don’t contest their accounts (the young woman and the independent witness). I said what they said in their accounts. I would like to apologise. I have not slept one wink. I did not think she would call the guards (on Thursday night). I thought we were beyond that because we got back together.”
Cross-examined by Inspector O’Sullivan about the words, “You will regret this,” he said he did not mean what he said, adding: “I am struggling with my head. I am heartbroken over her situation as well. There was not real meaning behind what I said. It was just taking a (verbal) dig at her really.”