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12 Aug 2022

Judge directs Tusla to investigate Laois case

BREACH

Judge directs Tusla to investigate Laois case

Judge Catherine Staines has directed Tusla to investigate a Laois family after a 40-year-old man charged with breaching a safety order claimed his ex partner had been lying in the garden drinking alcohol with their child beside her.

At a recent sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence, that on December 7, 2018, the injured party reported to gardaí that the accused had breached a safety order and put her in fear by sending her text messages calling her “a slut” and a bad mother, as well as threatening to bring her to court.

Sgt Kirby said the accused threw the children’s schoolbags at the front door and put her in fear.

The accused had no previous convictions.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said there had been no incidents since.

He said the accused was a loving father who was very committed to his children and there were addiction issues on both sides of the relationship between him and his ex-partner.

Mr Fitzgerald said their relationship had been tempestuous, but the accused has now disassociated himself from the injured party.

Judge Catherine Staines said that he needed to stop being abusive to the mother of his children. She said that for the benefit of his children she would put the matter back for a probation report and a victim impact statement.

The accused himself spoke up at this point, saying: “She’s using everything against me, using the courts against me. She’s not in fear of me.”

Judge Staines reminded him that he had pleaded guilty to an offence in which he called the woman a slut and a bad mother. She said he had been aggressive to the woman and also had a drink problem.

“I could send you to prison for 12 months,” the judge warned the accused.

The accused then claimed that the woman had on one occasion been lying in the back garden drinking with their son beside her.

Judge Staines made a court order directing Tusla to investigate.

The matter was adjourned to July 11.

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