A man put himself at risk of prison by delivering presents to his daughter on Christmas Day.
The man in his 30s pleaded guilty to a charge of putting his ex-wife in fear by breaching a safety order at her home on December 25, 2020.
Inspector Pat Lyons said at Cork District Court that gardaí were called to the domestic incident on Christmas Day at 4.40pm.
The woman complained her ex-husband arrived in a car, got out, forced open her door and put a bag containing presents inside the door.
The complainant attended her local Garda station and reported that the accused was in breach of a safety order in place since July 2018.
The complainant did not write a victim impact statement but she was called to give evidence on how the offence had affected her.
She said she was at the front door when she saw the man running towards her house so she closed the door. She said he forced in a bottom panel of the door and left in a bag of toys, saying, “Why do you keep doing this?” to his ex-wife.
She saw him jump into a car and could make out that there were other people in the car but she could not see who they were.
“I was very frightened. I suffer from anxiety. I had difficulty sleeping since,” she said.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said it was Christmas Day and the defendant wanted to bring Christmas presents to his daughter. He had not seen her in some time and has not seen her since this, the solicitor said.
“The sole purpose was to deliver Christmas presents. It was an emotional day. He was completely wrong to try to effect the delivery in the way he did,” Mr Buttimer said.
He also said the defendant said he pushed the door rather than breaking a panel.
Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a four-month prison sentence on the accused, which he suspended on condition the accused would keep the peace for the next two years.
“When emotions were running high on Christmas Day he took the law into his own hands, rather than leaving them [the presents] outside,” Judge Kelleher said.