A man who put his ex-partner in fear for her life when he breached a safety order to tell her he'd cut her throat, was jailed for 11 months in the District Court this week (May 27 ).
Garda Val Kane told the court how he had taken a call from a Ms Denise Cassidy in Granard on April 16 to report that her ex-boyfriend, Michael Tully (36 ), of Curraghbawn, Drumlish, Co Longford, against whom she had taken out a safety order, had rung her to say he was going to call round and cut her throat.
“He was seen walking round her house by an aunt of the complainant,” said Garda Kane, who subsequently arrested Tully that evening, and testified as to his drunken state.
“Judge, in reply to the charge he told me: 'If she thinks she's nervous now, wait til I get out of here. And if it's not me, there are a few lads up the town who'll do it for me',” said Garda Kane.
It was revealed Tully had also breached the safety order on April 7 for which he had been bailed until June 16.
In his defence, Mr Owen Carty told the court how Tully was an alcoholic who had voluntarily admitted himself to St Loman's hospital in Mullingar after the April 7 breach and that he was “in much better fettle now”.
“He doesn't suffer from a mental illness but has an acquired brain injury from a car accident last June,” said Mr Carty.
He explained how Tully had a daughter with Ms Cassidy from whom he was denied all access.
“Michael became fixated with that. This is what's motivating him,” said Mr Carty.
“He has never been violent against Ms Cassidy or his daughter.”
Mr Carty told the court there was a place available in the National Rehab unit in Dun Laoghaire for people recovering from a brain injury but that the unit was not secure.
“It's supervised, not monitored,” conceded Mr Carty.
“His parents want to take him and accept responsibility.”
However, Judge John Neilan was unmoved by this.
“The defendant indicated he wanted to cut her throat,” said the incredulous judge.
“He did not turn up in the state he's in now,” said the judge, referring to Tully's sober demeanour in court.
“I shudder to think what might have happened to the applicant if she was there when he arrived in that state. Mr Tully may think he's been harshly dealt with by the courts, but he's the author of his own misfortune.”
He sentenced Tully to 11 months in Castlerea Prison and backdated it seven weeks to account for the time of remand already spent in jail.
He set an independent surety at €1,500, which Tully's mother stood for a little later in court.